Attorney For Beating Suspect Says His Client Was Provoked/ Had Nothing To Do With Race

A local attorney who represents one of the people who has been accused of severely beating a man and leaving him outside a downtown Carrollton bar and grill last weekend, tells WLBB Radio that his client admits to fighting with the male, but he says, there is more to the story than was portrayed on social media last week.

On Saturday October 20th, the victim’s sister had posted a picture of her injured brother in the hospital to Facebook. The post suggested the beating was a hate crime and that the suspects had used a racial slur during the altercation.

Here is the post: “The night before last in Carrollton at the square there was a RACIAL HATE CRIME committed against my brother behind the alley cat. My brother shook the hand of someone’s girlfriend and her boyfriend said “my girlfriend won’t be shaking the hand of some n*****.” This guy is a red headed white male and his girlfriend has dark hair. The boyfriend and his 7 friends (one of which we know was wearing a white cowboy hat) proceeded later into the night to jump my brother once he was alone out back beating him and breaking glass bottles on him. If anyone hears or knows any information on this event or the people please message me!! The police and FBI are investigating and these people need to be caught and punished! I can not believe there are people like this still in the world, they don’t know If my brother will even be able see out of his eye because of the damage… PLEASE SHARE SHARE SHARE!! 

The poster tagged numerous media outlets in the comment section of her post.

Many individuals who read the post expressed their disgust and anger over the alleged incident and offered prayers for the victim, in the comment section of the posted story.

The victim’s sister has used Facebook to update those interested on his condition and road to recovery. A GoFundMe page has been started to help with medical bills. $330 of a $5,000 goal was raised by Sunday October 28th.

WLBB Radio spoke with CPD investigators Monday October 22nd regarding the initial social media post. Police confirmed they were investigating the alleged incident. “We have no suspects at this time,” Captain Shannon Cantrell said. “We are pulling surveillance video from nearby establishments to see if we can identify any suspects or any other information that may be helpful in this case.” Cantrell said the FBI was not involved and investigators had no reason to believe the fight was racially motivated, at that time. We learned that the victim had been released from hospital but was dealing with numerous injuries.

Tuesday october 23rd, WLBB Radio aired a story based on information received from Carrollton Police.

WLBB shared a video to the WLBB Facebook page Friday October 26th, which had been shared by CPD the previous day. The edited video focused on four individuals inside of a restaurant and then them entering a car in a parking lot. The video was identified as containing subjects suspected to be involved in an aggravated assault case and detectives asked that anyone recognizing the individuals to contact Carrollton Police.

Villa Rica based attorney Mac Pilgrim reached out to WLBB Radio Friday afternoon and identified one of the people in the video as his client. Pilgrim said his client admits to being in a fight with the injured male but he insisted it was not racially motivated and was a situation that his client did not seek to be involved.

“The young man accused in this alleged hate crime has not participated in any hate crime activity,” Pilgrim said. “The reality of the story is that the victim in this case… we believe he was intoxicated. We believe he was acting in a very volatile and hostile manner. This was a rolling altercation, if you will.”

Pilgrim continued…

“We contend that the incident began at the intersection of Newnan and Rome Street. (The victim) followed the party of four people into an alley behind the Alley Cat Restaurant, towards City Hall Avenue… at which time (victim) became very violent, very hostile… and punched my client in the chest. My client responded by striking (victim), but did so as a way to defend himself as in a mutual combat situation. My client says no one else hit the male. No one hit him with any foreign object… no bottle. This was essentially two young men of approximately the same age who got into a physical altercation and it happened to be in a public street. That is the story.”

Pilgrim says that prior to the physical altercation on City Hall Avenue, there had been an incident in which the male victim and the party of four had spoken in unpleasant terms.

“My client believes that (beating victim) had made a comment about or to or towards the female in their group that caused another male in the group to get upset. My client intervened and attempted to separate the two men, but ( beating victim) continued to be boisterous and forceful in his demands that he was going to fight someone. Eventually, that anger turned towards my client. He hit my client in the chest after poking him numerous times. My client responded with blows to (the victim).”

Pilgrim’s client—who we will identify as a 20-year old from Whitesburg— denies using a racial slur during any of the encounters.

After the fight reached a natural conclusion, Pilgrim says his client and witnesses picked (the victim) from City Hall Avenue and pulled him to the side of the road. “Then they left. They did not continue to punch or kick him. They say the (victim) was groggy but he was talking. They did not call emergency responders because they did not believe he was bleeding profusely.”

Pilgrim says he has spoken to Carrollton Police investigators about his client.

“They have asked that my client and the other individuals in the video make themselves available for interviews, which we will be happy to do,” he said. “We believe that the copious amounts of alcohol that may have been consumed by the victim in this case played a roll in the incident. And, we feel very bad for the victim. As a father, as a citizen I really feel bad for him. Because no one wants to see someone injured and possibly permanently injured. But having said that, from my client’s perspective, he was essentially defending himself from a man who had placed hands on him in a hostile manner.”

Pilgrim has seen seen the many comments posted by social media users in regard to his client and his alleged actions.

“On social media, I see where people are calling my client and the others ‘scumbags”… and other things. But let’s wait for the facts to play out. I don’t know how much of the truth lies in the initial story. It’s not exactly how it has been portrayed. I felt like I needed to speak out in support of my client.”