Three Mississippi men have been charged with civil rights intimidation and attempted robbery after allegedly attacking two black men in a downtown Memphis, Tenn., parking garage earlier this month.
According to the Associated Press, citing court documents, Christopher Elder, Joshua Matheny, and Michael Matheny confronted both victims on Sept. 2.
One of the victims, Shane Smith, told a local ABC affiliate the men yelled racial slurs at him as they attacked him.
“They called me ‘nigger,’ they had taken one nigger’s shoes. They said they were going to take another one’s. They tried to take my stuff from me, but luckily they weren’t able to take anything,” Smith said.
Smith needed 10 stitches to sew up his lip after the attack.
Memphis police confirmed Smith wasn’t the only victim that night, saying the same three men robbed another man for his $200 sneakers earlier that evening, LocalMemphis.com writes.
One woman who regularly uses the parking garage said she’d be using extra caution going forward. Smith, meanwhile, says he feels lucky just to be alive.
“Just thankful,” he said about walking away from the attack with minor injuries. “I didn’t know really what was going on or how to comprehend the situation.”