2 suspects in custody for MetroLink assault - KMOV.com

One MetroLink assault suspect identified

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Ronald Williams, 21 has been charged with third degree assault. He and a juvenile are accused of beating a man on Metro Link.. Ronald Williams, 21 has been charged with third degree assault. He and a juvenile are accused of beating a man on Metro Link..
Cell phone video captured a man being assaulted on the MetroLink Monday Cell phone video captured a man being assaulted on the MetroLink Monday
Two suspects are in custody after allegedly assaulting a man on a MetroLink train last Monday.

A 15-year-old and a 21-year-old, identified as Ronald Williams were arrested in connection with the assault. A third man seen in video footage from the incident was released without being charged. Williams was charged with 3rd degree assault. The teen's name has not been released.

The victim, a 43-year-old man who asked not to be named, said the attack began after the suspects asked him what he thought about the "Mike Brown situation" and he responded that he had not thought much about it.

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According to the police report, one of the suspects then began punching the victim in the face.

"I think it was disgusting that no one [helped]," the victim said. "People were sort of laughing and smiling about it. No one offered to help and no one attempted to call 911."

After the attack, the victim sustained a laceration to his nose and bruises on his face and forehead.

The victim, who is white, spoke to News 4 after cell phone video of the incident appeared on Facebook and said he believed the crime was racially motivated because the suspects were African-American and asked his opinion about the Michael Brown case.

"They were just looking to hurt someone," the victim said, adding the suspects did not attempt to rob him.

Saint Louis University Law School professor Justin Hansford said evidence of what goes through the head of the suspect is needed to classify an incident as a hate crime. Hansford said usually a racial slur or other verbal indicator can show a racial motivation, but the mention of Michael Brown alone does not necessarily show that motivation.

Prosecutors in the case will need to determine whether there is enough evidence to classify the incident as a hate crime.
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