MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile Mayor Sam Jones is asking people to stop making assumptions in an assault case that left a man in serious condition.
Police said they are looking for a suspect, and the suspect told them he was going to turn himself in.
Police said it started Saturday with a game of basketball.
David Dinkus was playing with his friends when the game of hoops turned into something more.
"We were playing basketball. And the basketball had rolled down there, and he said, ‘God bless us.' And we said, ‘God bless you, too.' And then the ball rolled back in the other yard, and he said get your...out the yard," said Dinkus.
There are still questions about exactly what happened next.
What we do know is that police said a group confronted Owens shortly thereafter. They said Owens was beaten severely with bats, bricks and a paint can.
Immediately, rumors surfaced that the motivation behind the assault was racial.
Tuesday, Mayor Jones urged the public to be patient.
"Wait for the facts as far as we're concerned right now. But, I would caution people to not jump to conclusions right now. This is really very divisive in communities throughout the country, and I don't think we have any reason to be divisive here because I don't see any evidence of that," said Jones.
Jones said he is shocked with the national attention this crime has gotten.
"It's really been blown out of proportion, and I would just caution people not to be a part of threat," said Jones.
Police said this is not the first time they have been called to the street for confrontations between Owens and his neighbors and the suspect who's supposed to surrender.
According to Metro Jail records, Owens has a lengthy arrest history.
He's been booked several times for charges ranging from assault, domestic violence, harassment and public intoxication.
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