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WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) — A West Point man undergoes emergency brain surgery following a serious beating at a West Point restaurant.Ralph Weems the IV was airlifted to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo following the assault at the Huddle House between 1 and 1:30 a.m., Saturday.Friends and relatives tell WCBI that Weems and a friend, David Knighten, were at Waffle House, and got into an argument with as many as seven men. It involved some racial slurs. Weems and Knighten left and went to the Huddle House, and the other group followed.

The altercation became physical. Weems and Knighten were beaten. Weems ended up in Tupelo, and Knighten was treated at North Mississippi Medical-West Point.

Police say they’re investigating this as an assault, not a hate crime.

They continue to look for suspects and witnesses.


WEST POINT, Miss. — West Point Police Department is investigating an aggravated assault that occurred at the Huddle House Restaurant early Saturday morning. Police were dispatched to the scene at 2:10am in reference to a fight in progress. Once at the business located at 230 Highway 45 Alternate North, officers discovered an injured man in the parking lot and what appeared to be two other individuals rendering aid.

The man, whose name is not being released by the police, was transported to the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He has sustained life threatening injuries but the full extent of his condition is still being evaluated. Witnesses on the scene told police that an argument occurred inside the restaurant which led to a physical altercation outside. The cause of the altercation is unclear and under investigation but the preliminary investigation has revealed that officers were also called to the Waffle House Restaurant an hour earlier involving the victim.

All parties were asked to leave the Waffle House at about 1:00am. Then at 2:00am E911 dispatched officers to the Huddle House. It’s not clear whether or not all of the parties were involved in both incidents. Witnesses on the scene were interviewed but were unable to give any details leading to the identity of the aggressors. The victim was accompanied by at least two other individuals who gave statements about the assault.

The witnesses described the aggressors as a group of black males but couldn’t provide any other information. The victim of the assault is white. Chief Tim Brinkley said, “This does not appear to be a hate crime. We are investigating this as an aggravated assault. It’s very early in this investigation but thus far the evidence and statements suggest that a verbal altercation turned physical and somebody got hurt.”

Investigators with the police department are in the process of reviewing surveillance video and putting together a list of suspects. One witness did provide a vehicle description and police are working on identifying the owner. Chief Brinkley says he hope the individuals involved with come forward voluntarily before arrest warrants are issued.

There is a reward of up to $1,000 through the Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers for information leading to an arrest in this case. This case is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 530-7151 or the West Point Police Department at (662) 494-1244.

Comment on this Story

  • Kay Craven

    Really? Not a hate crime??? If he dies will it become a hate crime??? Is… I repeat … IF HE WAS BLACK… It would be. Hate crime !!!!!!!

  • amanda

    How is this not a hate crime??? Our justice system is so politically correct they are afraid to call it what it is. If it was the other way around CNN would already be here.

  • Fred Monroe

    Funny. This can’t be called a hate crime because the VICTIMS are white and the PERPITRATORS are black. Pathetic.

    Your article also implies that racial slurs were EXCHANGED. Minimal investigation says the blacks, while beating the whites, chanted this was happening because of what happened in Missouri.

    Find the criminals.


  • Quentin

    So…..wppd, knowing that the attackers were yelling racial slurs, yet they refuse to call it what it is! If a group of white men yelled “white power!” then bash a black man’s skull into the concrete. That’s what it would’ve been called. #purebull

  • Fred Monroe

    Sometimes we think the people involved in stuff like this are thugs. Here are some facts about the victim Ralph Weems:

    – Honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps
    – Iraq war veteran
    – Currently working his way through Mississippi State University
    – Shot for the Sporting Clays team at MSU

    Now, as his life weighs in the balance, his future is probably ruined due to the severe brain damage.

  • Dixie Meyers

    Racial hatred led to this man’s injuries. If he dies are they going to hush it up to cover up a black on white “Hate Crime.” Being “Politically Correct” has no place in truly Objective Journalism. Truth is Racial Hatred and the Racial Crimes that result from it, are always a Mortal Sin, unless the person is crazy, out of their head. I will pray for this man’s recovery and for black people to start living as if they want to live in a Civil Society or not. But, Christ said, via St Paul’s Epistles that you will reap what you sew in someone else’s life. Jesus said, “Those who live by the sword, will die by the sword.” Let’s hope these criminals turn themselves in and “take their punishment like a man.” Cowards are a “dime a dozen.” A real man owns up to his mistakes to God and mankind, and turns over a new leaf. God forgives, but you have to be sorry for all of your sins, confess them and do penance for them, the rest of your life. This guy who you nearly killed will be living and re-living that night, for the rest of his life – trying to forgive a senseless act of violence. Racism is a sin. When it is with malice and forethought, it is always; in my book, a Mortal Sin. I will pray for the victim and his attackers, to get a grip on their lives and turn to Christ. Only God can straighten out the messes you make in your lives and other folks lives. I’m just pointing to Him.

  • DeltaReader

    The local law enforcement makes the determination of hate crime, the chief is black there. Now you know that part of the story. Also, whites are not included in hate crime statutes. Wake up to this mess people before its too late.

  • J.M.

    Since when is a group of thugs attacking one person considered a ‘fight’?

  • Just Me

    It was a hate crime. Pure and simple. I’m sick to death of these rampaging blacks getting off scott free on these types of racist, hate crimes. The second a white guy lays one little finger on a rampaging black, Sharpton shows up sticking his ugly face in front of any camera he can find, screaming RACIST! RACIST!

  • Cindy

    How many of you who’ve made comments were actually there? My guess is none.
    Pray for all involved and quit trying to stir the pot of animosity.

  • MJ

    The distinction between an assault and a hate crime is that if you were to remove the disagreement between the two parties, the assault vanishes. If the basis of the assault was purely racially motivated, then, if I’m not mistaken, it would be considered a hate crime. As it stands, both parties had a disagreement that may have included racially charged subject matter, but it is not the singular cause for the assault.

    I think this is why they aren’t charging it as a hate crime.

  • Dana

    Very very rarely do events like these get tried as a hate crime, and even less often do they get convicted as a hate crime. This isn’t about the race of the victims and perpetrators, it’s just the way the laws work. If it does meet the criteria of a hate crime, then it’s up to the prosecutor to convince the courts to add extra sentencing. But as the person above me points out, the prosecutor might have a hard time showing that the victim was target for no other reason than his race if there was an argument preceding the event. Still, it’s sad and crappy. Doesn’t mean it’s a hate crime.

  • Mary95

    Political correctness is divisive and unjust. It is dividing races, rich/poor, and everything under the sun. Political correctness is not the way to live. People should always try to be civil and even kind to one another, no matter their color. But putting this race above that race and politicizing it all over the news is ridiculous. I remember when they called George Zimmerman white. I don’t think he had much white in him, if any. The president has more than he does. A white unarmed kid was shot in Utah by a black officer. He didn’t even rob a store, but he did have a white T-shirt on, as a robber had on who apparently had recently robbed a store nearby, and he had head phones on. Maybe he didn’t hear whatever he was ordered to do, but he’s dead now. So where is Holder? Where is the speech from Obama? Where is the daily coverage on the news! I’m so sick of all this racist stuff. I want to go back to everyone being Americans, which we are. Then maybe we can have more peace. I want to go back to Freedom of Speech. Will I get offended by someone? Possibly, but that’s the price of freedom. Sticks and stones…you know the rest.

  • AL

    It was a fight. One guy received the worst of it. Therefore, no crime of hate exist. It was just an old fashion street brawl. I saw a lot of them in the military.

  • Bill

    Its about time to take the law into our own hands. The police have become spineless from fear and Obama is bowing down to his brothers. The country is in the toilet.

  • James Hake

    We need to get rid of these terms “hate crime” and “racism.” Look at how divisive this is. How do you gang up on someone and NOT have hate? Most blacks are racist, I admit; but most have no love for their own families or communities either–but only excuses. The focus on race only divides.

  • Mary

    If we don’t start investigating and prosecuting black on white hate crimes, then justice will be nothing more than a form of slavery. In the meantime, I suggest law abiding citizens carry a gun, and shoot to kill. If the police won’t protect us we must protect ourselves. Prayers for the family of the victim and for the souls of the thugs that attacked him.

  • Tamera

    WOW, not a hate crime???? I bet you would not be saying that if the perps were white and the victim was black! Let’s tell the truth for once media!!!!!

  • Paul

    100% hate crime. Poor ole boy. Sorry this white boy couldn’t have been thee to help. 16 from the 20 would have had a dent in em

  • Angela

    The article didn’t say who was yelling the racial slurs. Are you assuming it was the black guy? Hmmm?

  • Angela

    Where in this article does it say the black men were yelling racial slurs?

  • Theodora

    It said so in other articles and they stated they were getting even for Ferguson, so get over yourself.

  • Cheri

    The difference is that they had participated in a verbal altercation; quite a long and large argument ( even though racial slurs being thrown around) . But no one went out looking for someone to beat up ( hate crime ) because of the color of their skin ( or other hate for any “group” inspired attack ). Only the one arguing was beaten up…. no other “white people”. When you get into a heated argument with someone, or worse yet, a group of people; the beating was in response to the argument itself, according to police.

    Every time someones fights with someone it’s not a hate crime, even though after investigation it still may prove to be one! Please don’t carry a chip on your shoulder and such resentment because racism didn’t suddenly disappear. and black people by far have it the worst in the country ( obviously dur to long history ). Throughout our history, until recent past, black folks have always got the rotten end of the stick. To put it mildly. In fact, while white American parade around in stores and restaurants with AK-47’s for the “Open carry” movement, a young black Dad was shot in a Walgreen’s for having a toy gun in the toy department. It’s sad so many think it’s duck soup for black folks, while their teenagers shot and killed so often by white folks. Just reality.

  • pale_rider2013

    it dose not matter what you call the crime if the man dies it will be first degree murder charges on those blackmen

  • LLC

    The family is still very hopeful!

  • LLC

    There were at least 7 guys on 1 guy! How was he not to receive “the worst of it”? Sitting in a booth at Huddle House is not a street brawl. Dragging someone from a booth and outside…. Still not a street brawl. EVERYONE needs to read more articles and see the truth of what is going on here. The family is worried, scared, sad, upset, mad – you name it! Have some respect please!

  • Ed

    Who’s getting even for Ferguson, the black commited a crime so the rest roit. Now this, wake up…..blacks are 16% of the population but commit 59% of the serious crimes in this country.

    Jump on me….I can promise you one thing, you won’t jump again.

  • Steve

    Al, an old fashioned street brawl? 7 against 2? Are you kidding me. They were told before they went in that it wasn’t a safe place for white people?

  • Chuck

    “But no one went out looking for someone to beat up.”

    When the mob followed the victims to a separate location (Huddle House) they were, apparently, looking to beat someone up.

  • KMS

    So you’re saying they should just draw and pull on you instead? Stop acting like a clown.

    I agree with you that disparate enforcement is ridiculous. Frankly, I think it is unconstitutional to have laws that punish some assailants more than others because of their speech/thoughts. Aggravated assault is aggravated assault — prosecute them as such and move on.

    But bragging like a big man about how you’re prepped to kill as soon as anyone “jumps” you — you sound irrational and do not further any cause.

  • KMS

    Do not misunderstand this, please. I do not know the victim, and I was not there as a witness. I am not saying anything positive or negative about him or anyone else.

    But it is important that we stop trying to prove someone was in the right by resorting to this sort of list.

    Being in the military and attending college are not reserved for innocent, peaceful people. So pointing these things out says little, if anything, about whether he provoked someone or even threw the first punch.

    Again, not saying he did or didn’t. Just saying what I typed.

  • joe blow

    Angela…it has already been stated that it WAS the blacks spouting the racial slurs, this is NOT the only article on the subject.

  • Richard

    Has a black person **EVER** been charged with a hate crime? When you’re told to get out of a place because it’s not safe for whites, it’s obvious that he was beaten because he’s white. Typical coward cops afraid the black community will complain if a black person is ever charged with a hate crime. Why doesn’t the white community gather and march and protest? Oh yeah, if white ever complain about blacks beating up a white person it’s racism. But when blacks march about a white person shooting a black it’s “Civil Rights.”

  • Ed

    hahahaha….are you just now noticing there are two standards in this country……you are damned if you are a white male, but praised if black. Now if you are a white female hooked up with a thug black male you are ok but just a hoe…….look at the tv, blacks, blacks and more blacks…..maybe a white female with a black man…..civil rights!!!!

  • Terry

    Well, just change “white” in the story to “black” and “black” to “white” and tell me that they wouldn’t be charged with a hate crime. I call b.s. on your “theory”, because it IS about race, you’re just too blind to see it…

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