Chattanooga Police said they have contacted a man who was attacked by a gang near the riverfront on Sunday and are now seeking the public's help in identifying the attackers.
Police said, "A CPD officer was able to make contact with the complainant Monday afternoon. The adult male told the officer he left the area after the incident and had not filed a report. The officer met with the adult male Monday evening and a report of simple assault was filed.
"Police are investigating. Preliminary information/evidence has the location as 120 Market St. - not inside the (Buffalo Wild Wings) restaurant. The complainant stated his vehicle was parked in the 200 block of Cherry Street.
"CPD is asking for anyone who may have witnessed or has video of this incident to please call the non-emergency number - 423-698-2525. The date/time we are looking for is Sunday, Sept. 12, between 12:00-1 a..m. in the 100 block of Market St, 2nd St between Market and Cherry, and the 200 block of Cherry Street."
Stuart Doster said in a Facebook post that he was attacked by a gang on Sunday, and a man down the street was also assaulted.
Chattanooga Police initially said they had no record of the incident.
Mr. Doster, a Kenco employee, said:
"Please keep your eye on your surroundings and do not travel alone. I was a random target of possible gang initiation tactics yesterday.
"As I walked to my car on Cherry St in downtown Chattanooga, I felt an odd presence behind me. I turned around to see 5-6 teenagers pacing behind me. They all had red shirts on. No masks, bandanas, or weapons that I know of. I made a brief attempt to redirect toward the downtown street lights in the case something happens, it would at least be witnessed.
"I did not make it three steps before getting punched in the face and tackled by 3-4 other guys. I got kicked in the ribs, throat, head, etc. I asked why this was happening, and was told “because you was here ni@@a”. I was pushed into an old, red sedan, what I believe was a Corolla. I fought my way out, shouting for help. There was another man in his mid 40’s across the street getting attacked simultaneously by multiple people. We briefly made eye contact with each other as our ribs were getting kicked. I offered my wallet, phone, watch, and keys to these kids. They did not want any of it, oddly enough. Based on my experience, I would guess this was some type of gang initiation directive.
"I do not post on Facebook often, so I hope this can change or save lives in one way or another. Travel in packs. Keep an eye on your surroundings. Protect yourself.
"This is not a political or race associated post. This is an awareness post to let those in the area know what is happening in our town. I will wait for Facebook fact checkers to verify & validate this message, but until then, God bless."
Weston Wamp was among a large number of people responding to the post.
He said, "I've talked to Stuart a couple of times today. He's a wonderful guy, a young father, and a four-time state wrestler. I trust CPD will hunt down the gangbangers who viciously attacked him.
"In the meantime, be vigilant. Violent gang crime is an epidemic in our community. It breeds hopelessness in our inner city.
"It's time for elected leaders to step up and put the screws of the law to thugs like these so that Chattanooga is a safe place for families like yours and mine."