[Hpn] Fort Worth, TX - Group stomps homeless man to death - Star-Telegram - August 2, 2002

Editor Editor <hccjr@bellsouth.net>
Sat, 03 Aug 2002 00:25:20 -0500

Group stomps homeless man, 39, to death 
Onlookers stood by refusing to help the defenseless victim

By DEANNA BOYD - Star-Telegram - August 2, 2002

FORT WORTH - A group of men in a "mob mentality" stomped a
39-year-old homeless man to death Wednesday night as onlookers
stood by refusing to help the defenseless victim, police said.

"This is not your typical homicide," Sgt. Dave Stamp said. "It's
sad that apparently there were people there who could have
intervened and chose not to. Hopefully our investigation will
determine why."

No arrests had been made by Thursday night.

The incident occurred about 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Ripley Arnold
apartment complex after the victim got into an argument with one
man and was attacked by several others, Stamp said.

When officers arrived at the complex, they found the victim,
identified in a police report as Donald Watkins, lying face down
and unconscious in a pool of blood on a walkway.

He was taken to Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital, where he
was pronounced dead about 1 a.m. Thursday.

Stamp said Watkins was among a small group drinking outside the
apartments in the 700 block of West Bluff Street when he and
another man started arguing.

"Apparently after the initial assault, our victim was knocked to
the ground, becoming disabled," Stamp said. "For some unknown
reason, several of the others standing by joined in the assault.
Apparently it was a mob mentality."

As others watched, Stamp said, the men kicked and stomped on
Watkins' head and body.

"I think there was a lone female who did attempt to intervene,"
Stamp said. "She was not successful, obviously."

Police said that although some witnesses are cooperating, others
are not, apparently because they are afraid or do not want to get

"It's just frustrating for us," Stamp said. "One would think that
something as serious as this would get full cooperation.
Unfortunately that's not always the case."

Police were still looking for suspects Thursday evening.

"I was told by some witnesses that at least two or three of the
suspects were there on the scene when the officers were there and
nobody would identify them for the officers," homicide Detective
John McCaskill said.

"I do think the matter could have been resolved right there if
somebody would have identified those men for the officers at the

Anyone with information about the slaying is asked to call the
homicide unit at (817) 877-8225 or CrimeStoppers at (817)
469-TIPS. CrimeStoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information
leading to the arrest of those involved.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655 dboyd@star-telegram.com
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Homeless and Housing News Service