According to his father, 22-year-old DarQuan Jones is lucky to be alive.
Daryl Jones held a press conference on Sunday, May 17, alongside members of the Des Moines NAACP, where he detailed the attack that left his son with serious injuries.
At the press conference, his father talked about his son’s character calling him a “hard-working kid,” and remarked to the assembly, “Just because he has a couple of tattoos doesn’t make him an outcast.”
He further shared that the men put his son in a chokehold and broke multiple bones in his face.
The Des Moines Register reports that Jones passionately shared with the press, “They broke my son’s face in five places. Five.”
According to a police report, the attack happened on May 16, when DarQuan was going to visit his girlfriend on Saturday morning when three men attacked him.
The men, who were white, attacked DarQuan Jones and allegedly called him racial slurs. A witness who heard the young man screaming for help came to his aid. That witness, Tiya Campbell, said the men also hurled racial slurs toward her and her friends. Campbell said that the attackers vowed to get them (presumably Black people) “out” of the community.
Campbell called the police who transported Jones to the hospital. According to his father, he is currently recovering at home.
At the press conference, Jones explained his son’s emotional pain, “He said, ‘Dad, why did this happen to me?’ And I couldn’t answer back. It brought tears to my eyes.”
During the press conference, Kameron Middlebrooks, president of the Des Moines NAACP issued a warning to other African Americans in the city in light of the incident, as well as other racial attacks nationally.
“From Ahmaud Arbery to Breonna Taylor, recent events have shown that African-Americans nationwide are still grappling with the fatal effects of racism,” Middlebrooks said, “Des Moines is not immune to those effects and therefore must be at the forefront of standing against racism in every form to improve the quality of life for all residents.”
Middlebrooks urged the Des Moines Police Department to “investigate these attacks to bring about equitable outcomes for the victims.”
The DMPD acknowledged that racial slurs were used during the attack, but have not said whether or not the men would be charged with a hate crime when they are found.
Des Moines Police Maj. Stephen Waymire said at the press conference that the case is a high priority for the department and officers hope to have the case resolved as soon as possible.