Race may play part in beating that sent two military vets to the hospital

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WEST POINT, Miss. -- Police arrested one man and say more arrests are likely after a mob beating that sent two men to the hospital.

The attack happened outside the Huddle House restaurant.

According to published reports, one of the men told reporters he and a friend met at the Waffle House, but were warned not to go inside because black patrons inside were angry about the situation in Ferguson, Mo.

The reports went on to say the men went to Huddle House, where the same men followed them and attacked them.

"I think people are trying to make it a race thing since it was between black and white, but a mouth is a mouth," said Okie Smith, a West Point resident.

Many people in West Point said the victims had been drinking and walked into both restaurants instigating an argument, using racial slurs.

In fact, police stated their first 9-1-1 call came from the Waffle House, where employees said someone came in and instigated a fight with patrons inside.

Nonetheless, a beating did occur, and both men were hospitalized.

Cortez McMillian, 22, is charged with aggravated assault.

Police made the arrest and are looking to make more, but said they're not calling the incident a hate crime, although the Grand Jury could if they choose.

"He has 14 stitches above and below his eye.

He had a blood clot in the other eye, but I'm not talking to you about anything else other than that," said the father of one of the victims.

The man said the victim's mother is in the hospital with leukemia, and this has all just been too much to handle.

Various people around West Point say racial issues are still common place in the small east Mississippi town, and what happened over the weekend happens here when people have too much to drink, but this is no Ferguson.

Police say they could make another arrest in the beating as early as Tuesday.


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