Added: Daivd Dammann - Date: 21.07.2021 23:30 - Views: 15739 - Clicks: 811
If his killers had known of his anger at the system, or that he shared their outrage at the Rodney G. King verdict, maybe, just maybe, Matt Haines of Long Beach might not have been murdered when the rioting in that city turned its streets into battlefields.
But the white year-old mechanic never had a chance to talk with his murderers. Or to tell them where he was headed--to the home of a black friend who could not start her van. Haines and Coleman, family and friends say, were best friends and roommates. They were inseparable. Thursday from their apartment near Belmont Heights. But after they left, the rioting grew fierce in Long Beach. And the woman who had called them tried desperately to reach them by phone, to tell them not to come.
What happened after that may be only a footnote in the riots that scarred the region, but it was a brutal and tragic example of how violence flared uncontrolled. Troy Sheesley, who worked with Haines as a mechanic at Long Beach Toyota, said Coleman told him that Haines pushed his nephew off the bike so he could escape. But in an instant, he added, several in the crowd grabbed the front wheel of the motorcycle and tipped it backward, knocking Haines and Coleman to the street.
Beaten as they lay on the ground, Haines and Coleman had no chance to escape.
And soon, one of the mob pulled out a gun. The gunman shot Coleman three times in the arm.
But the gun did not fire, either jamming or running out of bullets. As the crowd scattered, Coleman later told family and friends, he dragged himself over to his dying uncle but could not make out his final words. Those verdicts, she and others said, were ones that Haines and Coleman had decried in the hours before their attack. They were very disillusioned with the system as well.
He was supposed to be in charge of security, they said.
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Houston, Haines moved to the Los Angeles area about five years ago. Late Saturday, Long Beach Detective Tim Cable said police had arrested five people, including two teen-agers, in connection with the killing of Haines and the attempted murder of his nephew.
Charges were pending. Since the shooting, she said, her son--Coleman--has been shattered by what occurred.
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Mob Did Not Take Time to Ask Their Victim His Views : Crime: Mechanic was outraged by the verdicts, too, but that didn’t matter when crowd descended and killed him.