An Hispanic man was allegedly assaulted in the Patterson Park section of Baltimore after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the Trayvon Martin murder trial.
Baltimore police have asserted, however, that it was an isolated incident that has no connection to the Zimmerman case.
Patterson Park resident Christina Dudley told police that a group of about 12 black teens chasing and beating a man shouted “This is for Trayvon.” Dudley and other neighbors called 911 to report the attack.
Dudley told the Baltimore Sun that “They caught up to the man at the corner of Fairmount and N. Streeper Street, and the male with the gun beat the victim with what appeared to be his gun while others kicked and stomped him.”
Law enforcement authorities insist that so far there is no evidence that the Sunday night incident was an outgrowth of the Zimmerman acquittal in Sanford, Fla., but detectives are still investigating and interviewing witnesses. The victim apparently was not robbed in the incident, however.
Another 911 caller claimed the group said they attacked the man because he was Mexican.
Dudley told ABC News that she clearly heard the group scream “this is for Trayvon” at least three times. She also posted about the incident on the Patterson Park Facebook page. “We just have a very tight knit community in Patterson Park and [Facebook is] the fastest way to get the word out. We have over 800 members on our Facebook page and I was concerned about our Hispanic community.”
George Zimmerman, 29, a former neighborhood watch captain, was put on trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, 17, on February 26, 2012, after confronting the teenager as he walked back to the house where he was staying in a gated community in Sanford. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, entered a plea of not guilty on self-defense grounds and went on trial in a Seminole County courtroom starting on June 24. After about 16 hours of deliberation, the six-person, all-female jury Saturday night found him not guilty of both second degree murder and manslaughter.