22-year-old Des Moines, Iowa resident DarQuan Jones says his face has been broken in five different places after he was the victim of a racist attack. As the Des Moines Register reports, Jones suffered multiple facial fractures, a broken wrist, and requred 10 stitches following what he and the NAACP of Des Moines called racially motivated violence.
As Jones explained, he was walking to his girlfriend's house in the early hours of Saturday when three white men came up to him and attacked him. He said he didn't know the suspects, but he indicated that they thought he was trying to break into a house. He was waiting outside the home of his girlfriend, and the men proceeded to attack him when she didn't open the door.
After quietly knocking on the door, he waited for her to answer as the men approached him. Jones said the men were stumbling and claims that as the attack happened, they yelled racial slurs at him. "When I saw they were stumbling, I already knew something wasn't going to go right," he said. He tried to run away from the scene, but they caught up to him and choked him and punched him numerous times.
"I couldn't breathe, I just kept blacking out," he added. "I could see my whole lfie just going in and out, in and out." After this, they allegedly dragged him to a nearby creek and held his head under the water. "I thought it was over for me," he said. "The only thing that was in my head was, 'They're going to kill me.'" At one point he said he heard a gun cock, followed by two women inspecting the scene upon hearing his screams. The suspects allegedly yelled that they "need to get out of our area, we're going to get all of you out here." The woman and her friend called the police, after discovering Jones lying on the ground.
Des Moines police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek said the attack isn't being labeled as racially motivated as of yet, at least not until the suspects are found and their motives have been determined. Kameron Middlebrooks, the president of the NAACP's Des Moines chapter, has argued that the assault should be investigated as a hate crime, however. "This will not be tolerated in our city," said Middlebrooks.