Blacks attack whites in Norway

http://www.timesanddemocrat.com/articles/2007/12/07/news/12857592.txt

NORWAY – Four men have been charged with second-degree lynching in connection with a Thanksgiving Day fight captured on a store video camera.

One of the men involved in the fight says it started after a remark was made about a Thanksgiving duck hunting trip. While town police say the fight was fueled by alcohol, the grandfather of one of the men in the fight says it was started by hate.

“I saw hate in that tape. Hate, hate, hate,” said Tony Fogle, whose grandson, Ross Fogle, was one of two men beaten at Shorty’s Horizon that night.

However, Norway Police Capt. Curtis Mizell said that based on his investigation and from reviewing the tape, he doesn’t believe the altercation was hate-based.

“I don’t think so,” Mizell said. “I think it was more alcohol-induced than anything else.”

Regardless, four individuals were arrested following the brawl. Charged with second-degree lynching was Reginald Youmans, 33, of 145 Youmansville Road; Marion Washington Jr., 25, of 308 Block Road; McKenzie Clemons, 23, of 148 Norfield Road; and Christopher Burkett, 32, of 778 Henry Road. Burkett was charged with two counts of second-degree lynching.

Lynching is the legal term used when several people gang up on another.

At the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Detention Center, no booking photos were available of any of the individuals charged in the incident. Officials explained the individuals may not have been processed as of Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the men were taken before Orangeburg County Magistrate Meree Williamson, who set bond on each at $1,000 surety.

The owner of Carolina Fresh Farms, Tony Fogle, asked for and was granted recognition during Norway’s town council meeting Monday night. Fogle then introduced a copy of the security tape obtained from the convenience store.

In an interview Tuesday, the World War II veteran explained his actions at the town council meeting by saying the alteration occurred 11 days prior and he wanted action. Fogle said he felt that with the lack of an arrest, “something wasn’t right.”

Mizell said the delay in making the arrests is not uncommon, but added that he began the paperwork process to obtain the warrants the day after the incident. The defendants resided outside of Norway PD’s jurisdiction, which required assistance from the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office to serve the warrants.

“It being out in the county, I can’t just go and serve the warrant,” Mizell said. “They (OCSO) were short-handed.”

Officials believe the hubbub began Thanksgiving afternoon when Ross Fogle and some cousins were duck hunting on a 28-acre parcel of land. That parcel, outside of Norway and known locally as Elizabethtown, is at least partially owned by Tony Fogle.

The 22-year-old Ross Fogle said he and his party were across a pond and about 300 yards from any type of residential structures, so far as he knew. After shooting and downing several ducks, “all of a sudden, it was shooting, we heard bullets coming through the trees. We just got down” and crawled out, he said.

About an hour later, Ross and his cousins returned to the wooded area to retrieve the ducks. Ross Fogle said there was some type of party going on in the residential area, but believed he and his party to be out of range from anyone or any structures.

The Fogle group then went to Shorty’s Horizon on the south side of town at about 7:30 p.m. There they were confronted by several individuals traveling in a Ford SUV, he said.

“He was like, ‘Y’all the ones doing the shooting over there?'” Ross Fogle said. “He said there was shot coming down around them. But ain’t no way.

But I said I’m sorry if I did anything.”

Fogle said another male exited the Ford and began making threats against him. Fogle said he turned and walked into the store, with the male following.

“It really made me mad when he came up and spit in my face,” Fogle said. “And then all three of them jumped on me.”

One of Fogle’s relatives entered the fray to help, “and they jumped on him,” Fogle said.

The fight, caught on the store’s camera, lasted about five minutes, resulting in a small cut on Fogle’s lip.

Having been with the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office and now the head of the Norway Police Department, Mizell said the western Orangeburg County community is not known for such instances.

“No, no sir,” Mizell said. “I think the last major incident was when we had a crime spree in one night.”

In that Dec. 18, 2006 incident, two men, one in Denmark and one in Norway, were shot, and one Norway woman was raped. Five men were charged in those assaults and are still awaiting adjudication in court.

Tony Fogle believes the incident, in which the men beaten were white and the suspects are black, was racially motivated. Mizell does not believe the Thanksgiving altercation was race-based.

“No, sir. Not at all,” Mizell said. “I think more people are more upset that it happened in Norway than it being racially motivated. Just the fact that it happened in Norway has more people upset.”

Mizell did say that one of the defendants gave an unsolicited statement that at least that defendant was drunk at the time of the fight.

“I think one said that the guy shooting didn’t care that kids were at the location,” Mizell said. “I think that with the intoxication, that set him off, made him mad.”

T&D Staff Writer Richard Walker can be reached by e-mail at rwalker@timesanddemocrat.com or by telephone at 803-533-5516. Discuss this and other stories on-line at TheTandD.com.

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