Man Pulled from Car, Beaten After Juneteenth - 6/20
"They broke my nose, they busted my lip in many places and I have a fractured eye socket," Kasthurirangaian told.TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Michael George
Kasthurirangaian said he was driving to the grocery store he owns about 40 minutes after the celebration officially ended. Many people had remained near the festival site after it closed at 6 p.m. A large group of young people walking in the middle of the street at 1st and Burleigh jumped on cars and broke windows.
"It all happened so fast. They started banging on the car. I don't know exactly know, but I was trying to dial 911 on my cell phone. They managed to open the door and pull the cell phone out of my hand," Kasthurirangaian said.
Kasthurirangaian was surrounded by dozens of people and several cars. He said he couldn't drive away. Video exclusive to TODAY'S TMJ4 shows Kasthurirangaian being struck repeatedly while he was still in the driver's seat.
When he got out of the car, he was kicked in the head and knocked to the ground.
"I was just hoping the police or somebody would hurry up and get there," he said.
Officers on horseback rushed in and the crowd quickly scattered, but the damage was already done. Kasthurirangaian will need surgery to repair his fractured eye socket.
"They didn't know who I was, I don't know, I've never seen them before. They didn't say a single word to me. And I know a lot of people in that neighborhood, given that I work there, and I was looking for faces that I recognize, they just wanted to beat me up," Kasthurirangaian said.
Milwaukee police say they could not comment on the specifics of the incident due to an ongoing investigation.
Video shot by TODAY'S TMJ4 shows other incidents taking place after the Juneteenth celebration. The same group of teens can be seen standing on top of a black car at 2nd and Burleigh and smashing the car's rear window before the attack on Kasthurirangaian.
That driver stayed in the vehicle and escaped unharmed, but he did smash into the car ahead of him trying to speed away from the attackers.
In another incident, police said a young woman hit an officer in the face as the officer was trying to break up a large fight near 1st and Auer. The blow shattered the officer's face shield. The officer was cut by the shattered face shield and needed stitches at the hospital.
The suspect was taken down by officers using night sticks and was arrested.
The video of Kasthurirangiain's attack is getting national attention. Common Council president Willie Hines was grilled about Milwaukee's crime and race relations on CNN.
"I've very disgusted by the fact that something of this magnitude has happened," Hines said.
Juneteenth organizer Mac Weddle says the event will continue next year, and the actions of a few people will not stop thousands from enjoying the celebration.
Many people are angry that the celebration, marking the end of slavery in America, was once again marred by violence. At last year's celebration, revelers tore down a tent and used the poles to fight each other.
"Just one person can stop a whole thing," said Earnestine Rogers, a woman attending the celebration.
Thousands of people attended the Juneteenth celebration itself without incident.