DTM Interviews Downtown Attackers

On The DTM, proprietor Dave McNair interviews the two men accused of a gleeful, random attack on the Downtown Mall last month, and the picture that the accused paint of themselves is rather opposite of the one painted of them by the thousands of angry racists who descended on C-Ville Weekly’s website to post vile comments.

For starters, Malcolm Stevenson (25) and Richard Spears (23) are both openly gay. Stevenson is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and is a manager at Eppie’s. Spears is a soft-spoken, full-time student of the Virginia School of Massage, where he’s studying to be a massage therapist. Their police records are minimal: Stevenson has a few traffic violations, Spears was once charged with swearing in public and intoxication. Although these facts in no way demonstrate that they are or are not guilty of the attacks, these men certainly are nowhere close to fitting the gangbanger stereotype that Matt Drudge and his followers presented them as.

The two men say that they’d been drinking, and admit to a physical altercation with Marc Adams and his girlfriend, Jeanne Doucette. But they accuse the two of being drunk, and having started the altercation, saying that Doucette called them “black faggots” and that Adams aggressively pursued Stevenson. They say that a third man—a stranger—stepped in, trying to break it up, and that it was he who punched Adams in the face.

Stevenson tells McNair that he understands that he’s going to be charged with something—that’s what happens after a fight—but that “if I’m going to be held accountable for my actions, then they need to be held accountable for theirs.”

14 Responses to “DTM Interviews Downtown Attackers”


  • I don’t know what happened and am in no way invested in any particular outcome, but their defense strikes me as a classic of the genre – complete w/ the obligatory racist comments of the victims and a mysterious third party who committed the real violence. I wonder, was he lurking on the grassy knoll?

  • Will: You probably should have stopped at “I don’t know what happened”.

  • The fact that the third person has not been charged seems like decent evidence that they do not know who the third person was.

  • Ummm…. they know who the third person is. Most people on the mall know who it is. He was brought in and questioned.

  • What a wild story. How strange to see these two good, former Hook reporters each reporting the same story in dramatically different fashion.
    I wonder if the two narratives will more closely resemble each other in subsequent pieces.
    An aside: What’s the mission of the DTM (Dave’s new site)? Is it a news site? A marketing site for DTM businesses? Some new media hybrid? Just curious.
    More working reporters would seem to be a good thing.

  • There are so many opinions about this event that I reread all the news account to see where the investigation stands, and here is what seems to be what we know at this point -

    The Cvilleweekly article was an account of what the victims reported to the police and repeated to the newspaper. The attackers had not been identified at that point so the weekly could not interview them for their side of the story. The point of that story seemed to be how the police had dropped the ball, which they have admitted.

    http://www.c-ville.com/knock-out-victims-of-brutal-downtown-mall-assault-want-arrests-and-answers-from-police/#.UtNZafaiH-U

    Now those accused have given an interview to one person to tell their account of what happened. Mr. McNair simply reported their account. According to Chief Longo’s press conference they came forward after his department, recognizing them from the photos contacted them. The press conference by Chief Longo reported where the investigation stands. He said at the press conference as reported in the Daily Progress :

    “The incident took place at about 1:30 a.m. Dec. 20, when a man tripped as he walked on the mall with a woman. A disagreement followed between him and passersby, the chief said. Witnesses told police the man was lifted up by another, thrown to the ground and repeatedly struck, Longo said. The second man hit the woman in the head, Longo said.

    “What began as a verbal altercation between the individuals evolved into a physical altercation,” Longo said.

    The man suffered a broken tooth and what Longo described as soft-tissue injuries. Reports that the he’d also suffered cracked ribs and a fractured ankle have not been confirmed, Longo said.

    Passersby called 911 and photos the woman took during the assault led police to contact Stevenson and Spears, both of whom were cooperative, Longo said. ”

    http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/two-charged-in-dec-downtown-mall-assault/article_01803e76-78e4-11e3-98dc-001a4bcf6878.html

    NBC29 reported:

    “Police say, based on their investigation, this is what happened the night of December 20 on Charlottesville downtown mall: Victims Jeanne Doucette and Marc Adams were walking on the mall when Adams tripped. A group of men started laughing and mocking him. A verbal confrontation began, which led to a physical confrontation.
    A witness told police that Stevenson lifted Adams up and threw him to the ground. Police say Spears admitted to punching Doucette.”

    ….” At one point, it was suspected that three people were responsible for the attack, but police say based on their investigation, only Spears and Stevenson were involved.
    After both men were charged, they were released on a permitted warrant. Their first court appearance is scheduled for February 5 at 9 a.m. ”

    http://www.nbc29.com/story/24396927/2-men-charged-after-reported-assault-on-charlottesville-downtown-mall

  • @davez, after reading DTM’s account of this event I too am puzzled by what this website is.

  • The DTM is a hyper-local news and information website about the Downtown Mall area, owned and operated by me, an independent journalist and digital publisher. It’s not a marketing site for the Downtown Mall. I simply post about all kinds of things concerning the Downtown Mall, whether it be a new restaurant opening, development issues, events and shows, or harder news stories like this one. Hope that helps. And let me know if you have any questions.

  • Is filing a false police report a felony or a misdemeanor?

  • According to this article an independent witness supports the victims account of what happened and what the police investigation confirms.

    http://www.c-ville.com/update-after-arrests-differing-accounts-of-alleged-mall-assault-surface/#.UtXtu_aiH-U

  • Waldo, you need to take some responsibility for the hype. Your original blog title, “Couple Randomly Assaulted Downtown,” helped to fuel people’s reactions. Change it, take it down, apologize, do something other than project that you are simply a passive observer in this complex story.

  • Now I wanna start an super-extra-ultra-hyper-local news blog, and maybe only cover like six bricks of the downtown mall…

    “January 15, 3:12pm: We cant see shit as we are literally smothered in tibetan fedoras. Say tuned for updates”

    Anyway, having met most people in this story, I gotta say that none of it makes any sense and it sounds just unfortunate all the way around.

    But to everyone clutching their pearls regarding the media’s handling of this story… really? What exactly did you expect to happen? Hate to break it to you, but not much happens here, and the local fish wrap has columns to fill (remember when all the q-tips were up in arms about a bench in the common area of some development near Rio?). And this story had everything: violence, racism, homophobia AND it tied into the Nancy Grace-ish national shark attack style histrionic worry du jour – the “knock out game”.

    Did you really expect our local elvish reporters to just sit on their hands, wait for the facts to come in and not to speculate wildly? Why would the Cville weakly ask “What is your favorite pizza topping?” for the seventh time in their rant replacement, when they can ask juicy ones like “Do you feel safe on the DTM? DO YOU? THERE IS CRIME, OMG THERE IS CRIME! AAAHH!!”

    Please. This story was like a late xmas for local media. And in three weeks everyone will have forgotten and the media will be back to fellating capshaw’s latest erection, or speculating where the city market MIGHT go, or barring all else, fighting like rabid skunks over the bypass.

    That is of course until the news cycle gets really slow. Thats when we will get the “Its been 5 years since the brutal mall attack: What have we learned as a society?” article. So I suppose we have that to look forward to.

  • I will be surprised if anyone involved in this drunken brawl will be charged with anything more serious than disturbing the peace. It is hard to get testimony about events happening while under the influence to stand up on its own. It will be interesting to see if Commonwealth’s Attorney, Dave Chapman, will be willing to try to get an indictment with the testimony of only one witness willing to come forward. Either all involved should be charged or no one charged. Through the years many incidents of this type were overlooked unless a weapon was involved. Some of us remember the Brass Rail and other beer-selling joints before the breaking of Main Street.

  • Sorry if this is off topic, but comments were closed on the original post, and I know red light cameras are a hot topic around here.

    I thought Redflex sounded familiar. The plot thickens…

    “Bribes in California, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia.”

    From: http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3295358.shtml?cat=500#.UuLRDo70DpQ

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