Mom Upset Hate Crime Charges Won't Be Filed In Son's Attack
Chris Jones Says He Was Attacked At Jamul Party
7:17 AM, Oct 5, 2009
A local mother is upset after learning the San Diego County District Attorney's Office will not be pursuing hate crime charges in connection with an attack on her son and his friends last April.Denise Brown told the 10News I-Team she was informed by the district attorney's office last week that the people who attacked Chris Jones may never be held accountable.Brown said despite her son's bruises, the racial slurs heard by witnesses and the damage done to her son's car as he tried to get away, the district attorney's office will not be able to charge anyone with a hate crime."Nothing has happened. Nobody's been arrested. They've talked to 80 people that say yes this did happen to him, but they don't know any names. How is that possible?" said Brown.Last April, Jones and his friends said they attended a Saturday night party in the Deerhorn Valley area of Jamul. He said when they arrived they were attacked and targeted because of the color of their skin."To talk to 80 people that witnessed this incident and all they've come out with is that they're going to file vandalism charges, because now they know who beat up the car," said Brown.The DA's office would not confirm the new information, but hate crime prosecutor Oscar Garcia told 10News while adding a hate crime charge could double the time a defendant receives, it is hard to get a conviction."What does it take to charge a hate crime?" asked 10News' Mitch Blacher."What it takes it we need evidence," said Garcia. "That's one of the problems we have is trying to prove who the attackers were, especially when it is a group attack."Jones said he and his friends were dragged into a bathroom and beaten by five white males. Brown said if her son were white this case would have already been solved.For now, Garcia would not confirm whether Brown has a right to be angry."We're still diligently working on the case to make a decision on what we can charge based on what evidence is available," said Garcia.According to information obtained by the I-Team, reported hate crimes in San Diego County have dropped from 235 in 2000 to 124 in 2008.Experts said it is tougher to prosecute hate crimes, and so many go unreported or are prosecuted as lesser crimes.