Crowd attacks, kills man at Juneteenth festival
Man was passenger riding in vehicle that hit child during Texas observance
Updated: 1:49 p.m. CT June 20, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas - An angry crowd beat a man to death after a vehicle he was riding in struck and injured a young girl, police said Wednesday.
Police believe 2,000 to 3,000 people were in the area for a Juneteenth celebration when the attack occurred Tuesday night.
The driver had stopped to check on the little girl at the entrance to an apartment complex when a group of men attacked him, authorities said. The passenger, David Rivas Morales, 40, got out to try to help the driver, but the crowd turned on him, said police Commander Harold Piatt.
Morales was beaten to death by as many as 20 men and left lying in a parking lot, Piatt said. A preliminary autopsy listed blunt force trauma as the cause of death.
The little girl, 3 or 4 years old, was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The driver, who got away from the crowd, is cooperating with investigators, police said.
Piatt did not know how many witnesses had been identified, but thousands of people had been in the area for the daylong festival. He said no guns or knives appeared to have been used in the fatal attack.
Juneteenth marks the day Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston in 1865 to share news of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves two years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863.
Another shining example of showing love to your fellow man.