The FBI is examining whether a nearly fatal attack on a black man at a Pittsburgh train station was a federal hate crime, WTAE-TV reports.
Ryan Kyle, 21, faces the most serious charges among the five white men who allegedly attacked 55-year-old Kevin Lockett May 30. State authorities charged Kyle with attempted homicide, ethnic intimidation, aggravated assault, robbery, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, according to WTAE’s search of a criminal docket.
Kyle and four friends reportedly argued with Lockett during a train ride. Authorities say that Kyle followed Lockett when he exited the train and threw him onto the tracks. Kyle allegedly beat Lockett unconscious after Lockett climbed back onto the platform. A witness followed the suspects out of the Wood Street station and helped authorities identify them.
“In my 21 years here, this is one of worst attacks I’ve seen,” Port Authority Police Assistant Chief Matt Porter said, referring to surveillance video, according to WTAE.
When the suspects were confronted by a police officer, he added, there were “some racial terms [used] during and after with one of our officers, all directed at the victim,” Porter said. The investigators believe that alcohol and racism fueled the vicious attack.
Lockett, who suffered broken bones in his face, told WTAE that he also believes the attack was racially motivated. “It’s obvious,” he said.
Read more at WTAE-TV.