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First Charlotte arrest made in viral black on white beat down, charged with ‘ethnic intimidation’

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The first arrest has finally been made in last Wednesday’s horrific Charlotte parking deck attack that went viral after African-American photographer Lenard Bennett posted it to his Facebook page with the notation, “This is beyond wrong smh praying for my city.”

According to police, the assault happened around 10 p.m. Wednesday after uptown protests had already turned into violent riots. In the video, a white male in light-colored pants and short brown hair is attacked by around 10 male suspects who chase him into the parking deck, kick and hit him, and pull off his pants, all while he is begging for mercy.

The video, along with the victim’s testimony and surveillance video taking during looting at a nearby CVS, helped police with the investigation.

The suspect? 22-year-old Antonio Gatewood. The charges? Common law robbery, assault inflicting serious bodily injury, false imprisonment, and… ethnic intimidation, North Carolina’s equivalent to a hate crime.

After all, it appears all the victim did wrong in this case was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and be the wrong color.

One down – nine to go. Anyone with information about the looting or the assault is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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Scott Morefield

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