A man waiting at a bus stop near the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City was beaten by a group of teenagers over the weekend, in what he suspects was a hate crime. The attack was eerily similar to the vicious beating of a Trump voter in Chicago that occurred the day after the election.
After the teens asked him whom he voted for, they started throwing punches, victim Robert Barrentine told Fox 4 News:
“I was on the Plaza and I thought it was safe, you know? … The Plaza is usually a safe spot. I haven’t had any problems down there before.”
Barrentine said he wasn’t wearing anything that displayed his political affiliation. Yet for some reason, this group of six teens picked him out of the people waiting for the bus and got in his face.
“It was only one guy that was the main instigator,” Barrentine recalled. “He came right up to me and said, ‘Who did you vote for?’”
Barrentine’s response: “‘I didn’t vote for anybody,’ because I didn’t,” he said.
But apparently that was the wrong answer.
“I just automatically got into defensive mode,” he said, “because I knew what was coming.”
He said the teens, both girls and guys, started punching and kicking him — sending him to the hospital with bumps, bruises and soreness.
“It was a little bit scary,” he said, “because you don’t ever know what’s going to happen in an act of violence. Somebody could’ve had a knife or whatever, some weapon or something.”
He said another person waiting for the bus called police. Soon KCPD officers arrived to chase down the teens, who Barrentine thinks targeted him because he’s white.
“I believe it’s a hate crime,” he said. “That’s all I could think of. I mean, I didn’t know anybody. There was no other reason why. I mean it has to do with Trump and the election.”
Police were only able to catch one of the thugs who attacked Barrentine: a 15-year-old boy who already has an arrest record for armed robbery and another assault.
PJ Media reached out to Barrentine to ask if any of the youths had mentioned Trump by name while they were beating him. Barrentine said that none of them mentioned Trump directly, but he “sensed with all certainty” that the beating was about Trump.
He told PJ Media that the beating lasted about two minutes, and that he had ended up on the ground in a huddled, defensive position:
I don’t remember getting down into that position. I only remember standing there taking some blows, then I was getting up from that huddled position when it stopped.
He said he walked himself to a hospital:
It was a block, so I walked when police were done with me. Stayed two hours, but got tired of waiting. There were much more serious injuries than mine at the hospital.
He told PJ Media that he sustained bumps, bruises, and scratches from the attack, and said that his ribs are still sore.
Forgiveness is very important to me in these kinds of things. It does us no good to spread hatred back and forth because that just feeds the violence and rage. Loving people instead … now that would be something worth spreading.
Love and forgiveness is to be encouraged, but so is knowledge and awareness. Fox 4 also reported the following:
[This attack is] the latest in a string of crimes near the Plaza in the past few months, where a group of teens reportedly hurts or robs random people.
A couple weeks ago, a 64-year-old woman was attacked by two “teens” in a Plaza parking garage in the middle of the day. After one of them pointed a gun to her head, she was able to fight them off with the help of a bystander who came to her aid.
In October, a woman and her son were attacked by about 15 “teens” while sitting in her car at a stoplight. The woman said “an unknown male approached her car and threw a rock through the rear right window of the car”:
She says the suspect then reached into the car and hit her son in the face. The boy said he did not know if he was hit with an open hand or a closed fist, only that it was on the side of his face. The male is described as African-American and wearing a blue hooded shirt.
In September, a group of “teens” attacked a theology student across the street from Winstead’s on the Plaza. He told KSHB:
It happened out of nowhere … They basically knocked me down first and then they started kicking me.
The victim said he was taken to the emergency room following the attack, and had bruises to his head and face, as well as a bandage on his elbow.
Stories like these have occurred in cities across the country over the past few years: “teens” randomly attack strangers for no apparent reason. It’s important that people be armed with this knowledge — and maybe a little bit more — in order to avoid becoming victims themselves.