On March 17th, three white men were leaving an Applebees restaurant after midnight in Seneca, South Carolina. One of the men, Terry Moore, 32, of Macon County, NC, went to the bathroom while his two friends went straight to their car. When Moore walked to the car alone, he encountered between 15 and 20 black men. The men allegedly yelled racial slurs at him like "tree honkey" and "cracker," then brutally attacked him.
Moore's friends say that he was zapped with a tazer and then stomped on after he fell to the crowd. The victim suffered several serious head injuries including a fractured eye socket and a dislocated jaw.
The attack ended when Moore's friends rushed to his aid. The victim is from out of town and did not know any of the attackers.Seneca police, working with the county sheriff's department and SLED, has apprehended six of the suspects. They are facing state charges for assault and battery by a mob, which is also more commonly known as second degree lynching in South Carolina. The official name of the statute was changed in 2010 over complaints by black racial activists that the term "lynching" was offensive to black people. The statute was originally passed in 1951 at the request of the NAACP.
Yesterday, March 28th, Seneca Police Chief John Covington released a statement saying he believes the attack was racially motivated. He has forwarded the case to the FBI for possible Federal hate crime charges. South Carolina's anti-lynching law allows for judges to give harsher sentences when an assault is part of a mob attack.
Those charged are Teryn L Robinson, 18; Tray Devon Holland, 19; Justin Dimon Alexander, 20; Derick Lee Williams, 22; Kino Martinez Jones, 25; and Montrez Obrian Jones, 22.
Last June prosecutors charged four suspects in the attack on Carter Strange with second degree lynching. Carter Strange was assaulted at random by eight young black males in the Five Points area of Columbia, SC. He barely survived the attack. The assault is believed to have been motivated purely by racial hatred.