NEW YORK -- Three black men who ventured into a historically white neighborhood early Wednesday to steal a car were chased by a man with a baseball bat, police said. One man was beaten and suffered a fractured skull.
The attack happened several hours before dawn in the same section of the borough of Queens as an infamous 1986 beating of three black men whose car had broken down.
A 21-year-old man was being held by police Wednesday evening, but no charges had been filed.
The three blacks told investigators they had been looking for a car to steal when they entered the Howard Beach neighborhood. They told police a white man in an SUV passed them in the street, exchanged stares with them and then returned with two friends and a baseball bat before chasing them on foot.
Glen Moore, 22, stumbled to the ground and was beaten, suffering a fractured skull. His sneakers and an earring were stolen. The other two men escaped and later summoned police, who scouted the neighborhood with them and spotted the SUV again.
Police stopped the vehicle and found Moore's sneakers and the bat inside. The driver was arrested, and officers were seeking a second suspect.
On Dec. 20, 1986, a group of white teenagers attacked three black men who were stranded in the neighborhood when their car stalled.
One of the men was fatally struck by a car as he fled. Another was beaten with a baseball bat and tree branches. The third escaped.
The attack ignited racial tension in New York and was compared to a lynching by then-Mayor Ed Koch. Eight of the teenagers were convicted or pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter, assault, conspiracy and rioting.