Dallas police released more information on the assault of Derrick Whitener at the Haskell Avenue Target Saturday night. The photos are from Target surveillance video. The circumstances of the attack — against a gay man using a wooden rod — are similar to the rash of attacks in Oak Lawn that began in the fall of 2015. This is what police released this morning:
On January 14, 2017 at approximately 11:05 p.m., the complainant, Derrick Whitener, was assaulted with a wooden rod by two suspects in the Target parking lot located at 2417 N. Haskell Avenue. The complainant arrived at Target and as he was walking towards the front entrance of the business, the suspects began walking towards him. The suspects are observed walking away from the complainant after he makes it to the front door. While inside, the complainant reported the individuals as suspicious to Target personnel. Meanwhile, the suspects remained near the front entrance.
Target security alerted an off-duty Dallas Police officer. Both the security guard and the off-duty officer approached the suspects near the entrance. One suspect walked away, while the suspect with the wooden rod had a brief discussion with the off-duty officer and security guard. The two suspects were asked to leave the property. At around 11:05 p.m., the complainant exited the business after shopping. As he walked to his vehicle, he was approached by the suspects. They made a threatening statement to the complainant and then beat him with the stick and fled on foot towards the street. A customer in the parking lot reported the incident to the off-duty officer, who then assisted the complainant. The Assault Unit was notified of the incident on January 15th and began the assault investigation.
Detectives were able to retrieve video surveillance of the offense. Detectives will need to interview the victim [who is currently hospitalized following brain surgery to repair damage done in the attack], but have canvased the area for additional video and witnesses. The victim received severe injuries, but is expected to recover. We are asking for the public’s assistance in the identification of the two suspects.
Suspect #1: B/M/18-20, 5’9”, 150 pounds. Last seen wearing a gray jacket, black pants, black backpack, black gloves, gorilla mask, and armed with a 3 foot wooden dowel rod.
Suspect #2: B/M/18-20, 5’9”, 150 pounds. Last seen wearing a black hoodie with white lettering, red/blue jeans, white Nike shoes, black backpack, and a gorilla mask.