A Black Texas man, whose neighbor reportedly beat him to a pulp during a confrontation, said the White suspect called him the N-word and threatened him before he repeatedly threw a barrage of punches to his face.
In an interview with ABC13, Elliot Reed said the incident has left him “traumatized.” The Black man said he was confronted by 25-year-old Collin Fries while he was riding his bicycle on the morning of October 29. Reed recalled Fries told him to leave the neighborhood because he did not live there.
“He’s just looking at me at the stop sign,” Reed said. “He said, ‘You need to get out of this neighborhood because you’re making a lot of people nervous.’”
Reed said he tried moving away from Fries, but the White man continued provoking him. “He said I need to get off this neighborhood. He said, ‘You don’t live here, and if I catch you, I’m gonna do something to you,’” he recalled.
Reed, who then pulled out his phone to film the confrontation, said he also tried getting another neighbor to confirm that he truly lived in the neighborhood. “When he was out of the car, this is when he said the ‘N-word,’” Reed claimed.
Reed added that Fries called him the N-word multiple times before he started physically assaulting him. Witnesses also told police Fries attacked Reed after catching up with him following a chase, court documents stated, per ABC13.
Fries allegedly landed several punches on Reed, and the suspect is said to have continued the attack even when Reed was unconscious, documents added. The assault left Reed with a broken tooth, fractured cheekbone, and a burst blood vessel in his eye. He also sustained multiple facial cuts that required stitches.
“He was attacked because he [is] Black,” Reed’s wife, Angie said. “I don’t care where you live, you don’t deserve to be disrespected by the color of your skin,” she added.
Fries faces a misdemeanor aggravated assault charge. But Angie says it’s “insulting and disrespectful.”
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office said a misdemeanor charge was brought against Fries because officers were yet to present evidence such as medical records to prove the injuries Reed sustained were severe, ABC13 reported.
“We are still in the initial stages of the review of this incident,” the district attorney’s office also said in response to Reed’s family saying the attack was racially motivated. “What happens with regard to whether a charge is increased or a hate crime enhancement is added will depend upon the totality of the evidence.”
Meanwhile, Seabrook police chief Sean Wright told KPRC 2 the confrontation did not seem to be a hate crime incident, and it could have stemmed from previous “conflict” between the neighbors. But Reed claims they had never come into contact with Fries.