Md. police: Black fisherman beaten by 3 white men

Three white men shouting racial slurs beat a 76-year-old black man while he was fishing in a river early Tuesday, said Baltimore police, who were investigating the attack as a hate crime.

The assailants also stole the man’s sport-utility vehicle, said Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman. Police caught up with the vehicle and arrested 28-year-old Calvin E. Lockner. The other two men eluded capture, Guglielmi said.

The victim was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was in serious but stable condition, Guglielmi said. The man’s wife was with him during the attack in a park beneath the Francis Scott Key Bridge in a remote corner of south Baltimore. She was not hurt. Police said they were withholding the victim’s name for his protection.

Mayor Sheila Dixon and Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III met with the victim in the hospital.

“I ask the people of Baltimore to pray for the victim and his family,” Dixon said in a statement. “We must all stand together in opposition to violence and racial hatred.”

Late Tuesday, police said Lockner was charged with hate crime, attempted murder, first-degree assault and carjacking. During his interview with detectives, Lockner “admitted he does not like African-American people,” Guglielmi said.

Police said they are seeking the other two men believed to be friends of Lockner.

Under Maryland’s hate crime law, prosecutors would have to prove that the beating was racially motivated and if successful, they can seek tougher penalties for the defendant.

According to online court records, Lockner was charged with rape, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree sex offense in 2000 and was sentenced to eight years in prison. He got another two years in 2007 for violating his probation.

He has been arrested since, but charges were dropped.

A lawyer who represented Lockner in a previous case could not immediately be reached. It was not clear if he is represented by a lawyer in this case.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.