Jesus Manuel Elias was minding his own business Sunday night on the stairs outside of his room at the Motel 6, but his Hispanic ethnicity apparently enraged another guest there, according to a Glynn County Police report.
After allegedly slinging several disparaging comments toward Elias during an unprovoked confrontation at the hotel off U.S. Highway 341 and Interstate 95, police said a 37-year-old Wichita, Kan., man savagely beat Elias. Police said Jason Lee Marshall allegedly punched Elias, threw him down a flight of stairs and stomped on him with his boots, according to a police report.
A co-worker of Elias told police that Marshall was then "running around the parking lot making more racial comments," the police report said. One of Marshall's relatives allegedly punched him in the eye "to keep him from further harming Mr. J. Elias," the police report said.
Police arrested Marshall and charged him with aggravated battery. He remained Tuesday in the Glynn County Detention Center.
Elias, who lives in Summerville, S.C., lost several teeth and had at least one laceration on his forehead, according to the police report. Elias was treated and released sometime Monday from the emergency room at Southeast Georgia Health System's Brunswick hospital.
Elias and a co-worker were hanging out on the stairs outside their room at the Motel 6 at around 10:20 p.m. when the incident started, according to a police report. Marshall, described as 6-foot-4 with reddish blond hair, allegedly "began making racial remarks toward Mr. J. Elias," the report said.
"These remarks included calling Mr. J. Elias a Mexican and saying that he is taking away jobs," the police report said.
Elias corrected Marshall, saying "that he is Puerto Rican and not a Mexican," the report said. Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, and U.S. citizenship is a birthright of its people.
Police said the confrontation briefly "was defused." Moments later, however, Elias went went upstairs to talk with another guest, unaware that Marshall also was up there. Marshall allegedly confronted Elias again at the top of the stairs, "punched him, threw him down the stairs and stomped him in the face with his boots," the report said. "Mr. Marshall was continuing to make racial remarks at this time, as well."
Elias arrived at the emergency room Sunday night with one tooth in a cup, and was initially unable to speak with police "due to the severity of his injuries," the report said. Police later found another tooth lying on the hotel stairway, along with "drops of blood on the stairs and smeared blood on the railing of the stairs," the police report said.
Police later reviewed the hotel security video. "You see him kick Mr. J. Elias and throw multiple punches, striking the victim several times," the report said.