I-Team: Racial Hate Crime Investigation

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LEHIGHTON, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Outrage and disgust in a Carbon County community after an assault of two young men over the weekend. An assault the victims say was racially motivated. It happened near Lehighton.

I-Team Reporter Andy Mehalshick has the latest

Mehalshick: did you hear them say that? Did you hear people say they were “looking for the black kid from Allentown?. Jayvon Mcdowell, assault victim: Yeah, I heard people say that some guys were looking for the black kid from Allentown.”

15-year-old Jayvon McDowell suffered third-degree burns on his leg and his 20-year-old brother Andre suffered a broken jaw and other injuries when they were assaulted at a party at this property on Semmel Hill Road near Lehighton on Saturday night.

“They were sizing up my brother so I go over to check and the next thing I knew I get blindsided out of nowhere. I get hit then I end up in the fire. Then I’m on the ground getting hit,” said McDowell.

The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick spoke to the young man who lives on the property he says his family owns the property here in Mahoning Township. He was at the party he tells the I-Team a bunch of people from out of the area– folks he did not know crashed the party. He says things got out of hand and he tried to his best to deescalate the situation.”

“There was a lot of screaming and yelling going on,” said Joe Balogach, neighbor.

Joe Balogach lives across the street.

“Sounded like a girl’s voice mixing in with it/. But it was carrying on something terrible,” he told us.

Jayvon says neither he nor his brother knew the attackers.

“It just shows the tension in this country between both races black and white. Do you know what I mean? Although things like this happened 60 years ago things need to change needs to happen too,” said McDowell.

His grandmother wants justice…

“It was totally totally racism. I just can’t get over it and it’s going to stop,” said Jody Wasco, Grandmother of assault victims.

Mahoning Township police and the Carbon County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident.

They say they will not comment so the investigation is not jeopardized.

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