SOUTH HAVEN, Ind. (STMW) – A Gary, Ind. resident tried to escape a South Haven bar after becoming aware it might not be a safe place for a black man.
Although the 24-year-old was not seriously hurt, he was attacked in the parking lot by three white men yelling racial slurs, police said.
The trouble started about 10 p.m. Thursday when the victim and a friend, who also is black, went to Sportsman’s Bar, 381 W. U.S. 6, for a few beers.
The two sat next to a female Hispanic friend already sitting at the bar. However, they were stared at by a white man who had chatted with and exchanged phone numbers with the woman earlier in the evening, police said.
When the man made a phone call, the victim overheard part of it, in which he told the person on the other line, “Hurry up and come up here. I got some work for you.” Three more white men arrived soon after, presumptively in response to the call.
One of the bartenders approached the black men and advised them to leave because the three newcomers were racist and “were probably going to start something,” the victim told police.
Once the black men left the bar, the three white men followed, yelling racial slurs and for them to get in the vehicle. As the 24-year-old opened the vehicle’s door, the men started punching and kicking him until he got it closed. Police said he had a bloody nose and minor cuts on his lips. He refused medical treatment.
The Porter County Sheriff’s Department is investigating several leads, although police learned the security cameras in the bar’s parking lot were not working.
One of the attackers was described as wearing all black, including a leather vest and a stocking cap, and with a full beard. A second also was wearing all black and was described as balding and with a small amount of facial hair.
Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Gary Gear at (219) 477-3000, Ext. 3131.
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