Grand jury indicts man in racial attack

October 18, 1990|By Raymond L. Sanchez | Raymond L. Sanchez,Evening Sun Staff

A Baltimore grand jury has indicted a 21-year-old man on assault and other charges stemming from a racial incident in which a black man who was walking with a white woman was chased into the path of a pickup truck and severely injured.

Daniel Spencer Porter, of the 3300 block of Leverton Ave., was indicted yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court on charges of assault, reckless endangerment and racial harassment, a misdemeanor.

Police said Herbert Ellsworth Jennings, 32, was struck by a pickup truck the evening of July 19 as he fled a man identified as Porter, who allegedly had hurled racial epithets at Jennings because the victim was walking with a white woman in the mostly white Highlandtown area.

Jennings, of East Monument Street, suffered severe head and chest injuries. A patient at Montebello Rehabilitation Hospital, Jennings is not expected to be able to testify at Porter's trial.

Jennings and his 33-year-old girlfriend, Jennifer Gonzalez, were walking in the 500 block of S. East Ave. when they were taunted by a group of white men in a pickup truck, investigators said. Another group of men on the street joined in and shouted racial slurs at Jennings.

Porter, one of the men on foot, allegedly asked the occupants of the pickup if they wanted him to "get" Jennings then began to chase the victim, investigators said. As he fled, Jennings slipped and fell under the wheels of another pickup at Eastern and East avenues.

The driver of the pickup that struck Jennings was not charged, and the occupants of the pickup which initially approached Jennings were not found.

If convicted, Porter could receive maximum prison sentences of five years for reckless endangerment and three years for racial harassment.

On the night before the Highlandtown incident, two black men were attacked in Remington by a group of white men in an argument over a public telephone. A 27-year-old Baltimore man died of stab wounds and his companion was slashed and beaten in the attack.

John E. Mooney, 28, of Baltimore, was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, possession of a deadly weapon and malicious destruction in connection with the Remington case. Mooney goes on trial Dec. 3 and three co-defendants early next year.

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