APRIL 17, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:30 P.M. CST
The confrontation soon turned into a fight and while dozens of neighbors watched, a black male, 19 year-old Craig Matthews, was beaten with a baseball bat. His friend said he tried to help, but he was out-numbered.
"They wouldn't even let me get to him. He was lying on the ground unconscious and they were just beating him in the head with a bat. I'm his best friend and I was just helpless. I couldn't do anything. I get mad thinking about it," says Reggie Jones, a friend of the victim who witnessed the beating.
Matthews was immediately taken to the hospital, but the police work was just beginning. Police told K8 News they believe this could be a racially motivated hate crime.
"Corning Police Department, realizing that the Police Chief's son and some of his family were involved, turned the investigation over to the Sheriff's Department," says Clay County Sheriff Ronnie Cole.
60-year-old Wanda Emmons, Donald Groning's mother, also is behind bars. She faces three charges: Hindering apprehension, Tampering with evidence, and Contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Emmons bond is set at $15,000.
A juvenile, whose name we can't legally release, has been charged with first degree battery as well.
We asked the witnesses why they thought this all happened?
"Being racist basically. I dream about it all the time. My best friend, just watching that and they wouldn't let me get to him," said Reggie Jones.