Des Moines police are investigating a potential hate crime after a 22-year-old man was brutally beaten early Saturday morning. According to the Des Moines Register, finding the culprits, described by the victim and witnesses as three White men, is of high priority for the local police.
DaQuan Jones told the Des Moines police that he was walking to his girlfriend’s house around 3:25 a.m. on Saturday when men, hurling racist comments, attacked him. Police who reported to the scene after witnesses phoned in the attack found Jones on the ground and noted injuries to his face and hands before being transported to the hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.
On Sunday, the local chapter of the NAACP held a press conference to address the matter. In attendance was Jones’s father, Daryl Jones, Jr., who told reporters and other community members gathered that his son’s face was broken in five places. The NAACP also called on the Des Moines police to investigate the violent attack as a hate crime.
“After speaking with Quan, his family and the witnesses that have come forward, if the story is as they state it is, then what occurred yesterday should be nothing less than a hate crime,” Kameron Middlebrooks, the president of the Des Moines NAACP, told reporters.
According to the Register, Jones was aided on Saturday morning by witnesses who heard his screams for help while attending a nearby party. When they proceeded outside, they saw a badly beaten and bloodied Jones on the ground. He told them that he believed he was dying and could not breathe. The witnesses also claim that the suspects were still present when they arrived and warned the samaritans that they were going to “get all of you [assumably Black people] out of here.”
Jones’s attack comes days after a virtual meeting between the Des Moines City Council and the Human Rights Commission was hacked by a racist hurling racial and sexual slurs. Both incidents prompted the NAACP to issue a release cautioning Black residents to be on high alert.
Detectives are continuing to look for leads in the case of DaQuan Jones. They are asking the public to contact the DMPD or CrimeStoppers of Central Iowa at 515-223-1400 with any information that could lead to an arrest in his brutal assault.