Victim’s sister: Mobile, Ala. black-on-white beating sparked by theft, not basketball

Parker said she watched helplessly as her brother was beaten. Owens, who lives across the street from Parker, had spent the day helping her with yard work.

Matthew’s brother, Lloyd Owens, told radio host Todd Schnitt on Tuesday that “15 to 20 people” came to the house to participate in the assault.

Later, in the hospital, he said, Matthew told him, “Don’t let me die.”

“He’s got 12 to, I think, 20 staples in his head,” Lloyd said. “And he has bleeding on the brain on both sides.”

Matthew is listed in fair condition, upgraded from critical, at the University of South Alabama Medical Center.

Parker expressed frustration that some media outlets have reported that her brother, a mechanic by trade, has a rap sheet.  “My brother is being smeared by some people and now bringing his criminal history to light to make him the criminal,” she said.

Fox News has reported that Owens has previous arrests for domestic assault, DUI and public intoxication.

A spokeswoman for the Mobile Police Department told Fox News that the attack is being investigated as an assault — not a hate crime.  But Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich told WKRG that her office has met with federal law enforcement and will ultimately let them decide.

Two other recent reports, in Chicago and Toledo, Ohio, involved  African-Americans allegedly citing the Trayvon Martin case while attacking whites.

But Mobile Police Corporal Chris Levy told reporters that even if Martin’s name was mentioned, his death wasn’t the reason the attack occurred.

“I’m 100 percent certain that Trayvon Martin is not a motivating factor in this incident,” he said.

Update, April 26, 4:55 p.m.: Ashley Parker emailed The Daily Caller on Thursday to re-emphasize her view of what caused her brother’s beating. “It wasn’t the ball playing,” she wrote. “It was them stealing that made him confront them.”

Update, April 26, 5:15 p.m.: Corporal Chris Levy of the Mobile Police Department told The Daily Caller that this story was the first he had heard of Parker’s allegation. “We have interviewed Mrs. Parker, we have interviewed Matthew Owens, we have interviewed every person on that street,” Levy said, “and nobody has told us that. … This is why we urge people to come forward with any information they have on these cases.”

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