A 50-year-old cyclist says he has been scarred by a neighbor who severely assaulted him just a few blocks from his home in a Houston neighborhood. According to the injured individual, the act was racially motivated.
On Friday, Oct. 29, when near the junction of Lakeside Drive and Hampton Strings Drive in Seabrook, Texas, Elliot Reed, who rides his bike around every morning, informed KTRK that he came into contact with a motorist. The driver of the car allegedly told Reed he didn’t belong in the neighborhood and began yelling at him.
“At the stop sign, he’s simply staring at me.” ‘You need to leave this area,’ he added, ‘because you’re making a lot of people nervous.’ Reed elaborated. “He told me I needed to get out of this neighborhood,” I added. “You don’t live here, and if I catch you, I’m going to do something to you,” he added.
Reed said he initially ignored the man, who then parked his pickup truck approximately 50 feet behind Reed and exited. The man, later identified as Collin Fries, began calling Reed the N-word when Reed took out his cellphone to record him. Witnesses told Fox26 that Fries yelled the obscene slur many times before charging Reed and punching him.
Several bystanders corroborated that Fries, who is white, pursued the victim from the road to the sidewalk before catching and hitting him, according to police reports. That was “the last thing I remember,” Reed told KTRK. That’s because witnesses said Fries continued to pound Reed, a total of 12 times, even after he was knocked unconscious.
Reed had many injuries, including a broken tooth, a cracked cheekbone, and a ruptured blood artery in his eye, which will very certainly necessitate surgery. Reed also had to get more than a dozen stitches on his face.
The victim’s wife, Angie Reed, feels her husband was “assaulted because he was Black.” “I don’t care where you live, you don’t deserve to be humiliated because of the color of your skin,” she continued. Fries was allegedly detained and freed on a $100 bond after being charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault, which Angie Reed described as “insulting and disrespectful.”
The district attorney’s office, on the other hand, claimed in a statement that they were “still in the early phases of the investigation into this occurrence” and that it was too early to establish whether the incident constituted a hate crime. “Whether a charge is increased or a hate crime enhancement is imposed will be determined by the totality of the evidence,” they continued.
Despite Reed’s allegation that they had never met Fries, Seabrook police chief Sean Wright claimed last week that the event did not appear to be a hate crime, given previous “conflict” between neighbors.