Because that would be racist.
A couple’s late night stroll on the Christmas-lit Downtown Mall turned to terror in the early morning hours of Friday, December 20, when they were brutally assaulted by three men in what appears to have been a random act of violence.
Even though one of the victims, Jeanne Doucette, managed to take photos that appear to show the assailants as they kicked and pummeled her boyfriend Marc Adams to unconsciousness, Charlottesville Police still do not have any suspects. Doucette says there were other witnesses to the crime, which allegedly occurred just outside the Wells Fargo building at around 1am as she and Adams walked from Miller’s to Rapture, and she is baffled as to why the police haven’t shared her images more widely with people who could have seen the suspects earlier in the evening.
“I cannot understand why they didn’t let people know what happened,” said Doucette, who still bore injuries from the assault when she met for an interview a week later. “Those pictures might have prompted some tips.”
The images she captured are blurry but nonetheless appear to corroborate her account of the night’s events, including the brutality of the beating, during which she says the assailants joked and laughed, even stopping to hug in the midst of the onslaught.
Doucette said the assault occurred after she and Adams, both 39, had met for a drink at Miller’s after Adams finished his shift as chef for a downtown food cart. They headed east up the Mall toward Rapture to end their night with music, when Adams tripped and fell in front of Derriere de Soie lingerie store, a block from Miller’s. As he was getting up, a man approached quickly, said something that Doucette couldn’t make out, and kicked Adams while he was on the ground, before being joined by his friends who beat Adams severely, breaking his ankle, cracking ribs and knocking out one of his teeth.
The grainy photos that Doucette took with her phone show the faces and clothing worn by the three alleged assailants, all black males. Doucette estimated the men were approximately 6’ tall and in their mid-20s or early 30s. In one photo, Adams is lying on his back on the Mall with a man looming over him. Doucette said the man was kicking Adams when she took the picture. In another picture, a large man in a black coat and light colored shirt appears to be moving towards Doucette’s camera as Adams is on his knees in the background. […]
The men were accompanied by a woman, who Doucette said repeatedly screamed at them to stop. The men ignored her pleas. Doucette said she had never seen the men before and there was nothing in her behavior or Adams’ that would have provoked the assault. Both victims wondered whether the episode was an example of the so-called “knock-out game,” in which assailants randomly strike an innocent passerby with the goal of rendering them unconscious. Several such assaults have resulted in the deaths of victims. Adams and Doucette checked Youtube for videos of their own assault in the days after it happened, but have found nothing. The cheerful demeanor of their attackers, however, has them wondering if they were targets of some kind of game.
“Maybe if we had played dead, they would have stopped,” said Adams. “If the point of the knockout game is to knock out, we kept getting up to help each other. We didn’t play right.”