A Chicago man arrested on assault and robbery charges said he beat his victim because he was outraged over the Trayvon Martin murder case, according to media reports.
Alton L. Hayes, 18, was charged with a hate crime, attempted robbery, and aggravated battery, the Chicago Tribune reported. Hayes, who is black, is accused of beating up a 19-year-old white male in Oak Park, which is west of Chicago.
A 15-year-old black male was also charged in the incident.
“During the course of the investigation, we learned that the crime was related to the victim’s race,” Oak Park Cmdr. LaDon Reynolds told the Tribune.
Police told Fox Chicago that the two punched the victim “numerous times” in the head after going through the victim’s pockets.
After he was arrested, Hayes told police that he was upset over the Martin murder case, saying he beat the victim up because he is white, Fox reported.
Martin, 17, was shot and killed in Florida by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February, sparking nationwide outrage.