Four college students have been charged in the beating of a man in the parking lot of a Henry County eatery, where the victim and his girlfriend went to celebrate his birthday.
On Monday, McDonough police arrested Joshua Rashad Berry, 19, Mondarius Head, 19, Montez Quendarius McKibben, 20, and Oreterro Chanez Watson, 19, all of Jackson, on charges of aggravated assault.
The former football players at Jackson High School, waived preliminary hearings Tuesday, in Henry County Magistrate Court, where Judge Robert Godwin set their bonds at $2,500 each.
The four were released from the Henry County Jail, as of Tuesday, according to jail records.
All of those arrested were allegedly involved in the assault on Davis Tan Do, in the Soho Grande Bar & Grill parking lot, located at 716 Ga. Hwy. 155 South, according to McDonough Police Sgt. Chris Morris, of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
"We gave them until 10 o'clock last night [Monday] to turn themselves in," said McDonough Police Chief Preston Dorsey. A fifth suspect was scheduled to turn himself in on Tuesday.
Sgt. Morris said there were conflicting stories from the victim, and those arrested, about what happened the night of the incident.
Do, the alleged victim, told the Henry Daily Herald in an interview May 9, his attackers were "saying stuff to me, racial slurs ...They kept calling me Chinese and chink, but I am Vietnamese, I just kept walking." He also said 10-15 males beat him.
"Our investigation did not lead us to believe that this was a racial hate crime," said Morris. The alleged assault took place May 6, at 12:47 a.m., according to McDonough Police Officer J. Hobbs, who worked part-time at the eatery.
Do, 22, of Forest Park, said he and his girlfriend, Gloria Harvey, 40, of Jenkinsburg, were at Soho to celebrate his birthday. It was Harvey, who alerted police to the parking lot fight, said Hobbs. The officer located Do, unconscious on the ground in the parking lot. "He was lying underneath the front bumper of a silver Chrysler 300," said Hobbs. He was later hospitalized and with serious injuries. He has since been released.
Initially, each of the four men was charged with aggravated battery and affray.
"The judge dropped their affray charges, because there were five men against one. The judge said that's not affray," said Morris.
Do, who works as a food caterer on airplanes, described some of his assailants to police, and confirmed to police they were riding in a gray Dodge Charger. Officer G. Lyons saw a gray Dodge Charger leaving the scene of the incident at a high rate of speed.
"That was the best lead at the time ..., because we knew the car had a spoiler on the back of it," said Morris. "Lyons said it sounded like it had a V-6 engine."
Once the suspects were arrested, a competing story about what happened began to emerge. Morris said his investigation, coupled with cooperation from those arrested, is producing a different account.
"The suspects arrived at the club, but could not get in because they said they didn't have ID's," according to Morris. "One of them said something to the victim's girlfriend, but once he said it, he realized she was with the victim. He apologized and said he didn't know.
"Do approached the group ... and they exchanged words," continued Morris. "They said the victim made some statements and gestured that he may have been armed with a weapon." Police did not locate a weapon on Do, nor in the parking lot.
"They said that's the reason they struck him," said Morris. "They said they continued to kick him, and stomp him, until they felt like he wasn't a threat anymore."
Jackson High School Football Coach Mike Parris, who has been coaching football at the school for 15 years, said Morris' findings match what one of his players said following the incident.
"I just feel like before anybody draws any conclusions, hear both sides of the story," he said. "... You got this Asian guy saying these black guys jumped him, but he didn't say what he said to the guys: ‘I'll light this [expletive deleted] up like the Fourth of July ... My blood doesn't run Kool-Aid,'" is what the coach said one of his players told him Do had said.
Berry, Head, McKibben, and Watson graduated from Jackson High school last year, according to the coach. Parris said McKibben and Head are attending college on football scholarships.
He said one of his assistant coaches, Dary Myricks, talked the young men into surrendering to police.