WEST POINT, Mississippi (AP) — The West Point police chief says an Okolona man has been arrested in an assault that seriously injured a man. Chief Tim Brinkley says he expects more arrests.
Brinkley says in a news release Monday that 22-year-old Courtez McMillian is in the Clay County jail pending charges of aggravated assault.
He says most if not all the people on a list of suspects are from adjoining Monroe County
Brinkley says prosecutors and a grand jury would have to decide whether to charge hate crime as well.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video from one of two restaurants where police were called early Saturday, Brinkley told The Associated Press on Monday. He said they’re also trying to find out why it took so long for anyone to call 911 about the fight outside the Huddle House
Although the caller to 911 about 2 a.m. Sunday said a fight was going on, when officers arrived “all of the perpetrators had left,” Brinkley said
David Knighten of West Point says he and Ralph Weems IV, who also lives in the city of 12,300, apparently were followed to the Huddle House from a Waffle House where Weems had argued with other patrons.
Police are trying to determine whether Weems was beaten by people who followed the men from Waffle House, Brinkley said.
Weems’ brother-in-law Bradley Barnes says he has not had an update Monday on Weems’ condition.
He was in fair condition Sunday, according to Genie Causey, spokeswoman for North Mississippi Medical Center spokeswoman in Tupelo.
Knighten told AP on Sunday that a man had waved him over outside a Waffle House and told him politely that people were upset by the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and it wasn’t a safe place for whites. When he went in, he said, Weems was inside and was arguing with other men.
They left after an argument that brought police, Knighten said.
That was about 1 a.m., according to police.
On the way to Weems’ house, Knighten said, they went into a Huddle House restaurant with a nearly vacant parking lot.
However, he said, they apparently had been followed by more than 20 people.
“From what we have seen from surveillance video and from what other witnesses say, it doesn’t appear it’s going to be nearly that many,” Brinkley said.
A $1,000 Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to an arrest apparently had not brought any tips as of Monday morning, Brinkley said.