Grandfather Beaten With Bat In Unprovoked Hate Crime Dies
A grandfather who was the random victim of a hate crime has died after being beaten in the head with an aluminum bat.Fifty-four-year old Armando Barron was walking back to his home on the 300 block of North Maple Avenue, Sunday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. when he was randomly attacked in broad daylight. According to witnesses, no words were exchanged before the attacker began hitting Barron in the head. On Monday, 22-year old Jeremiah Ajani Bell was arrested in connection with the crime. Captain Andrew Karol of the Rialto Police Department told KTLA that Bell confessed to the crime and "woke up that morning and stated that he had a feeling that he needed to kill someone."
"It appears he was targeting anybody who wasn't black," said Detective Sergeant Paul Stella. Bell is African-American.
The attack left Barron paralyzed and comatose, and he died of his injuries on Thursday morning around 11:30 a.m. according to the San Bernardino Sun.
On the GoFundMe set up by his family to cover his medical and funeral expenses, it says Barron was walking home to watch his "favorite sport in the world, soccer." "Unfortunately my dad was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was the first person of the 'wrong' color the suspect saw," wrote Wendy Flores.
In a court appearance on Thursday, Bell pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder. However, the judge doubted Bell's mental competence and ordered the court proceedings suspended until he was evaluated by a psychiatrist.
Bell is scheduled back in court on June 9, and will likely face murder charges by then because of Barron's death.