The Charlottesville Downtown Mall Attack
Links  last updated February 1, 2014 –

A few days before last Christmas a man and his girl friend were injured while walking on the Downtown Mall late at night. The man was beaten unconscious. He also suffered cracked ribs, a fractured ankle, a knocked out tooth, and what the police are calling “soft tissue damage.” The woman suffered bruises to the head and torn ear cartilage.

No one else was injured.

The following can be gleaned from the couple’s interview with C-ville Weekly published December 29 and C-ville podcasts (see links below).

Marc Adams, who is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weights about 135 pounds, and his girl friend Jeanne Doucette were walking on the Downtown Mall not long after Marc had gotten off work. Soon after they left Millers, where they had met for a few drinks, Marc tripped and fell not far from the Wells Fargo Bank. As he was getting up, a man approached quickly, said something that Doucette couldn’t make out, and kicked Marc down on the pavement. Another man joined the first. There may have been a third man. One man picked Marc up and threw him down. The men repeatedly kicked and punched him. They kept at it even after he was unconscious. Laughing as they did it.

When Jeanne tried to help Marc, one of the men struck her on the side of the head. She finally backed off and began taking photos. The men fled.

Soon after the attack Courteney Stuart, a reporter for the C-ville Weekly, found out about it from a Facebook clipping someone sent her. She then interviewed Jeanne and Marc. The couple thought the police were investigating the attack so they asked Courteney to hold off submitting her article for publication. December 29 they gave up waiting for the police to publicize their photos and posted them on Facebook. Also the C-ville Weekly published Courteney’s first article and the photos. Only after Courteney talked to the police department were detectives put on the case, over a week after the attack.

About a week later the police identified one of the men from tips. He and a second man then turned themselves in – 19 days after the attack. Timothy Longo, Chief of Police, held a press conference that day. He began by making rather shabby excuses for the police department’s delay in investigating the assault and describing what was being done to preventing such a delay in future. Then he described what he believed had happened.

Timothy Longo, Chief of Police
press conference January 8
beginning at 7 minutes, 50 seconds

Based on the interviews we conducted with them [Marc Adams and Jeanne Doucette], and with all the witnesses, [and] with the suspects in this case, we believe that the following actually occurred on December the 20th, 2013.

Ms. Doucette and Mr. Adams were walking eastbound on the downtown pedestrian mall at approximately 1:30 in the morning on the 20th. Mr. Adams tripped in the area of Central Place, fell to the ground. For reasons that are not clear, a group of males who were walking eastbound in the same area chose to mock, to make fun, to make statements, I don’t know what those statements were. ...

Mr. Adams was able to stand, apparently asked the group what they said. An independent witness reports that an individual we later identified as Malcolm Stevenson then lifted Mr. Adams up and threw him to the ground. Another witness reports Stevenson then struck Mr. Adams multiple times while he was on the ground. Ms. Doucette came to the aid of Mr. Adams, was met by a second suspect who we later identified as Richard Spears. Mr. Spears alleges he was [then] pushed by Ms. Doucette, although there are no independent accounts of that. Mr. Spears by his own admission and as witnessed by others punched Ms. Doucette in the head.

Both Adams and Doucette suffered injuries as a result of this incident. On January the 8th, today in fact, Malcolm Stevenson and Richard Spears were charged with assault and battery, under Virginia annotated code section 18.2-57 the crime of assault and battery. They were arrested and subsequently released. A trial date has not yet been set.

That is what happened according to police chief Timothy Longo.  His evaluation of what happened is a disgrace to the city. A 18.2-57 charge is a misdemeanor, the lowest category of crime, carrying a sentence of at most one year in jail. At the same press conference, according to The Daily Progress:

“Longo said the misdemeanor charge was filed because there was no indication the men intended to cause serious harm.”
No indication ?  How much indication does it take ?
 ‘The difficulty lies with respect to the malicious wounding is that the commonwealth has to prove intent to maim, disfigure.’ 
There is no difficulty.  An arrest does not require proof of anything, which the court requires later, only probable cause. The account of Jeanne and two witnesses, including the fact that Marc was beaten unconscious, is probable cause enough to charge the suspects with aggravated malicious wounding.

Even one blow to the head is a very serious matter. According to Jeanne Doucette, the men fled only when they saw the potential of police punishment – thanks to the cell phone and digital camera.

The men the police arrested and released are Malcolm James Stevenson, age 25, and Richard Bernard Spears, aged 23.  (Marc and Jeanne are both 39.)   On January 12 the blog DTM (Downtown Mall) by David McNair published what it called an “exclusive interview” with the two men. The article says they are openly homosexual, and that:  “The interview was facilitated by Kiara Redd-Martin and Kishana Joy Griffin, two young African-American activists (and friends of the men)” The article continues: the two activists “say they feel ‘disappointed and angry’ about the way the story was initially portrayed in the press, and encouraged their friends [Stevenson and Spears] to come forward.”  As if the police hadn’t been tipped off first.  The following is gleaned from the interview.

Spears and Stevenson say they were standing in the Downtown Mall. Spears says that as Jeanne and Marc walked past, he and Stevenson laughed at them and made a disparaging remark. He says Jeanne then called him a “Black faggot” and “charged” at him. Stevenson says he and Spears are no more guilty than Marc and Jeanne. He says it was a third man who attacked Marc.  Marc  “got in my face”  and he only  “pushed him away.”

In other words, it was the woman who attacked Spears.  Stevenson and Spears were only defending themselves. The two men managed to escape from her without injury !

The two men make much of having turned themselves in “voluntarily.” They leave out that it took them 19 days to do it and that photographs of at least one of them had been published. And why, if they were innocent,  they fled the scene in the first place.

In fact the “voluntary” is disingenuous. It suggests the police didn’t know who the men were until they showed up, but that is not true. According to the police press conference, one of the two men was identified before they turned themselves in.  Starting 7:15 in the press conference video:  “In response to numerous tips one of the suspects was identified pretty quickly.”

So we have two accounts of what happened. On the one hand the two men and their testimony, on the other Jeanne’s testimony, her photographs, Marc’s X-rays (which he has released to the police and courts), and two independent witnesses.

Even without this evidence, does it sound reasonable that a 39 year old man and woman, walking together from one place to another, passing two men in their 20s, complete strangers taller and heavier than they are  (again, Marc has a slight build),  would decide to assault them ?

In the DTM blog interview, Spears says that at the time of the attack Jeanne told him that he and Stevenson were going to be portrayed as thugs in the press because she and Marc are white. Is it credible that Jeanne would make such a statement before, during or after a violent attack ?

Spears’ account sounds like something from a  black  and/or   homosexual  advocacy script.  More likely than getting called a name is that Marc asked Stevenson what he meant, a huge, and naive, mistake.

On NBC WVIR TV, January 14, Natalie Wilson interviewed Stevenson and Spears. Again Kiara Redd-Martin and Kishana Joy Griffin were there to help.  Quoting the interview:  “media reports have blown the situation out of proportion.  You hear nothing of Marc’s and Jeanne’s physical wounds. However, Stevenson’s and Spear’s suffered “emotional scars” !

The interview ignored Marc’s and Jeanne’s injuries. Ignore as in pretend don’t exist, let’s not talk about it, we just want to go forward with our lives – while Marc goes forward on crutches. A glib tongue and self-righteous denials don’t make medical evidence, photographs, and eyewitnesses disappear.

Stevenson and Spears believe they are innocent of wrong-doing. Apparently their idea of wrong-doing doesn’t include striking women in the head, or kicking and punching a man to unconsciousness because they heard, or thought they heard, or claim they heard, an insult.

Stevenson and Spears fled the event, obviously in fear of the police, and didn’t come forward until 19 days later. To repeat, their account sounds like something from a political playbook.

Suppose, contrary to Jeanne’s testimony, that Jeanne or Marc had insulted Stevenson. Words are not punches and kicks. The men didn’t stop beating Marc until after they saw Jeanne taking pictures and other people calling on their cell phones. At that point Marc had been beaten unconscious on the pavement, with multiple fractures. Mere name-calling wouldn’t justify such savagery. And more likely there was no name-calling at all, nothing besides naively asking Stevenson what he had said.

One day the same sort of men might misconstrue what you say and do the same to you. The police or district attorney should revise the charge to aggravated malicious wounding. Given the nature of the attack a misdemeanor charge is an insult to the victims and to the public.

A headline from a page of the Charlottesville city government website:

          Smart and Efficient Government
A Great Place to Live for All of Our Citizens
and it goes on to boast of “social and economic justice.”

Welfare tax and spend is not justice. What happened to plain old justice? In the case at hand, the misdemeanor charge, even if the pair are found guilty of it, does little to prevent future attacks on pedestrians. You or yours may be the next victim.

Links to News Articles and Interviews

Victims of brutal Downtown Mall assault want arrests, and answers from police
C-ville Weekly, December 29, by Courteney Stuart.  Includes Jeanne’s photographs.

Audio interview with Courtney
WINA radio, January 2.

Audio interview with Courteney and Giles Morris
C-Ville Weekly podcast, January 2.  Giles Morris is the editor of the C-Ville Weekly.

Evidence of racial tension, calls for communication in wake of Mall beating
C-ville Weekly, January 7, by Courteney Stuart.  A better article than the drippy politically correct title might suggest.

Police arrest two in Downtown Mall assault
C-ville Weekly, January 8, by Courteney Stuart.

Two charged in Dec. 20 Downtown Mall assault
The Daily Progress, January 8, by Bryan McKenzie.

2 Charged in Reported Charlottesville Downtown Mall Assault
NBC WVIR TV, January 8, no byline.
From the comments section:
Michael Rittenhouse Rigby
“If a misdemeanor charge and conviction are all that will result, they`ve already gotten away with it. ”

After arrests, differing accounts of alleged Mall assault surface
C-ville Weekly article, January 14, by Courteney Stuart. Includes another photographs taken at the scene. Includes a link to a video of the January 8 police press conference.
From the comments section:
Cville Resident
“ ‘Demand some accountability on all parts’  insinuates that Marc and Jeanne are as guilty as Stevenson and Spears.  That seems to be the fix in this affair.  They’re all guilty, just forget about it.”
“I’m a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, but I don’t care if these people made any racial or homophobic slurs, it does NOT give anyone the right to physically assault them. ... that kind of beating could kill someone, or maim them for life. What they did was attempted murder, plain and simple. It was needless violence and they should be punished. End of story.”

Cross complaints: Alleged assailants file charges in Downtown Mall assault case as witness speaks out
C-ville Weekly article, January 31, by Courteney Stuart.

The following are protests of innocence by the men who fled the scene of Marc and Jeanne’s injuries.  Both articles place the word ‘beating’ in quotes as if there really had been no beating (even beating would be a mild way to describe what happened). In the second interview Marc is said to be plastered yet comments on race relations – before or after having his ribs fractured, his ankle broken, his tooth knock out, and being kicked and/or punched in the head.

Men involved in Mall “beating” tell their side of the story
DTM blog of David McNair, January 12.

Men Charged in Downtown Mall Assault Speak Out
NBC WVIR TV, January 14, by Natalie Wilson. 
From the comments section:
Whatever Works
“... you couldn’t just walk away, you saw the opportunity for violence and you took it and now you want to blame it on somebody else.”
“ ‘It’s not my fault’ – famous last words for [those] who end up in jail because of no impulse control ...”
Whatever Works
“ ‘kind, funny, intelligent, decent’ young men don’t ... gang [up] on and beat ... somebody who is clearly unable to defend themselves.”
Shawn Bear
“... NOTHING justifies beating a woman”
“Your version of the story has no credibility when you ran and hid for nearly 20 days!”