A man charged with a hate crime in Oak Park this week told police he was so upset about the Trayvon Martin case that he beat up a man because he was white, authorities said.
Alton L. Hayes III, 18, of Oak Park, and a 15-year-old Chicagoan – both black – walked up behind the 19-year-old victim and pinned his arms to his side early Tuesday, police said. Hayes then picked up a large tree branch, pointed it at the man and said, “Empty your pockets, white boy.”
They rifled through his pockets, threw him to the ground and punched him in the head and back “numerous times,” police said.
They ran off, but officers sent to the scene spotted them and arrested them.
After he was arrested, Hayes told police he was upset by the racially charged Trayvon Martin case in Florida and beat the man because he was white, Cook County state’s attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said, citing court records.
Hayes was charged with attempted robbery, aggravated battery and a hate crime, all felonies.
He was ordered held on $80,000 bond and remained in Cook County Jail on Friday. The 15-year-old was referred to juvenile court.