The severe beating occurred early Sunday morning around 2 a.m., reports The Clarion-Ledger. Up to 20 assailants participated.
The injured man is Ralph Weems IV, a veteran of the Iraq War and a Marine. He is white.
The altercation began at about 1 a.m. when Weems and a friend, David Knighten, chose to go inside the Waffle House. They made this decision after a man in the parking lot diplomatically suggested that they should leave because the patrons inside were angry about the Aug. 9 police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Thus, the unidentified man explained, the restaurant would not be a safe place for two white people.
According to Knighten, Weems, 32, began arguing with customers not long after he entered the Waffle House. It’s not clear what was said or what was in dispute. After the police eventually showed up, Weems and Knighten left.
On the way home, the pair decided to stop at a Huddle House — a similar, less iconic eatery that dots the South. The Huddle House was in West Point. Miss.
A group of about 20 men followed Weems and Knighten to the mostly empty Huddle House parking lot. A security guard told everyone to leave. However, Weems and Knighten found that some of the men had blocked their way.
The 20 or so people who came for Weems attacked him. He ended up on the ground, getting brutally kicked. …
“This does not appear to be a hate crime,” local police chief Tim Brinkley said, according to The Times-Picayune.