An elderly black man was attacked by three white men as he fished in a river early Tuesday. Baltimore police said the assailants hollered racial slurs at the 76-year-old man and are treating the case as a hate crime.
Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman, said in addition to attacking the fisherman, the three men also stole the man’s SUV. Police were able to track the vehicle and arrested 28-year-old Calvin E. Lockner. According to the Associated Press, the two additional attackers escaped and are still at large.
Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealfeld III and Mayor Sheila Dixon met with the victim, whose name has not been disclosed for his protection, in the hospital.
“I ask the people of Baltimore to pray for the victim and his family,” Dixon said in a statement. “We must all stand together in opposition to violence and racial hatred.”
Guglielmi said in Lockner’s interview with investigators, he “admitted he does not like African-American people.” Police said Lockner was charged with hate crime, attempted murder, first-degree assault and carjacking. The two additional suspects are believed to be Lockner’s friends.
In order for Lockner to be charged with hate crime, which has stiff consequences under Maryland’s state laws, prosecutors would have prove the attack was racially motivated.
This in not Lockner’s first encounter with the law, as he was charged with rape in 2000, but pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was sentences to eight years in prison. He was sentenced to another two years in 2007 for violating his probation.
The victim, who is in serious but stable condition, was taken to the Maryland Shock and Trauma Center, the police spokesman confirmed. His wife was with him when he was attacked at the Francis Scott Key Bridage, but was unharmed.