Video of beating, apparently in Five Points

At least, that’s what this is reputed to be. Sorry I can’t seem to imbed it here, but just click on the image at right and you’ll get to the clip (I love YouTube; I hate Facebook).

What you’ll see is an incident that may be the one described in this excerpt from the news story:

An assault that happened about 45 minutes after the gunfire also has received attention on social media.

At 2 a.m., a man was assaulted by a group of seven to 10 other men in the 700 block of Harden Street near Pop’s N.Y. Pizza and Bey’s, a bar. In that report, witnesses told police that the man walked out of one of those establishments when the group of about 10 men attacked him.

The group pushed the victim against a door and punched him until he fell, according to the incident report. Once he was on the ground, one or two of the attackers continued to kick him in the head and chest. All of the attackers ran away just before police arrived, the report said.

The victim had severe cuts and extreme swelling on his face and possible damage to his skull, the report said. He was taken to Palmetto Health Richland.

That was not the first group assault of the night…

That story dealt with violence getting out of control late in the evening in Five Points — two such beatings and a shooting the same night.

The good merchants of Five Points would like the local constabulary to put a stop to it. I heartily second that. No, the police can’t prevent everything, but it occurs to me that attackers can’t “run away just before the police arrive” if the police are already there.

35 thoughts on “Video of beating, apparently in Five Points

  1. Brad

    Something that story hinted at, but did not explore, was whether that video was the “attention on social media” mentioned, and whether that figured into the attention being focused on the problem. I’d like to know more about that…

  2. Doug Ross

    And you wonder why people don’t want to live near downtown…

    I also notice that the news report is careful about mentioning the demographics of the situation.

  3. Brad

    That’s assuming the reporter and editors had that information. That’s assuming that video is of the incident in question. And that’s assuming that it’s relevant to what happened.

    In other words, assuming a lot.

    The correspondent who brought the video to my attention complained, “The State writes an article about it – but even they aren’t willing to call it what it is – gang crap.”

    Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not. For instance, this account in a comment on the video (from the account that posted it) on Facebook would indicate that race WOULD have been relevant to mention, but gives no indication of gang involvement: “Yeah I’m not with the whole jumping thang either. But drunk white boys calling black people Niggers Is something I DON’T LIKE! For every action there is a reaction.”

    Another thing I don’t like about Facebook is that one has no idea whether that comment is a witness account, or a completely uninformed assumption. If it is the latter, then the writer has grossly maligned the victim.

    In any case, the incident could have been racial and/or involve a gang. The answer could be yes on both, no on both, or yes on one and no on the other. I don’t know.

  4. Brad

    Of course, a lot of black folks think white folks conflate “race” and “gang.” In that, they see a bunch of black kids and immediately think, “gang” — whether they’re engaged in violence or minding their own business. Which is what causes the hypersensitivity around the word. That hypersensitivity had a lot to do with city police being slow to address gangs.

    Of course, I sort of feel about gangs the way I do about “hate crimes.” Punish the crime, not the motivation. Stop the violence, whatever motivates it.

  5. Doug Ross

    “Of course, I sort of feel about gangs the way I do about “hate crimes.” Punish the crime, not the motivation.”

    Are you suggesting that gangs have a potentially useful function in society that is unrelated to criminal activity?

  6. Kathryn Fenner

    Both the commenter and Merritt McHaffie seem to think there can be justification for an assault. Comments like Doug’s don’t help matters, either. Sticks and stones, folks, but at the same time, let’s not throw gasoline on the fire.

    I could post links to street crimes that have Occurred up Doug’s way if I fired up the real computer. Plenty of bad stuff happens in the boonies.

    What is a “gang”? I think you have to have so sort of inability to leave, or something more than just a group of similar demographics or a straight up criminal conspiracy. Just because they are black, doesn’t make them a gang. There are plenty of white hooligans, too. Indeed, where did the word “hooligan” come from?

  7. Brad

    Doug, I didn’t suggest anything of the kind. I expressed my interest in punishing aggravated assault.

    Here’s the thing: If a gang never commits crimes, it’s a club. If it DOES commit crimes, then its the CRIMES I’m interested in. If you can throw in criminal conspiracy and make it stick, fine. But it’s the crime I’m focused on.

  8. Phillip

    Doug, we live 4 or 5 blocks up the hill from the exact site of the beating and moreover are raising a small child there, and it’s no different really than any urban situation. Bottom line: all these incidents happen after midnight and hopefully students with any sense about them will just vote with their feet and wallets and stay away from 5 Points late at night. Perhaps some of the bars will close if so.

    On the other hand, the upsides of living within walking distance of a Five Points or other urban amenities (or a 5-10 min. car drive or short bike ride away) during the daytime or early evening are many, including from a family-oriented point of view. I have tons of friends who still live in NYC and raise kids there, and the fact that crime sometimes happens in the areas where they live especially in the wee hours when nobody’s up to much good anyway, is just taken for granted. Common sense has to prevail, but I wouldn’t let a few thugs alter my life by forcing me to spend an extra hour, hour-and-a-half every day in my car.

  9. Doug Ross


    I can walk down my street any time of the day or night without much concern of getting attacked by a “group of demographically similar” youths.

    I’ve been down to Cook Out in Five Points a half dozen times around midnight this year (having a late dinner with my son at USC after arriving home on flights). It’s not an area I would walk around at night.

    Suggesting that we should pretend crime is no worse in Five Points than in Blythewood is ignoring reality. As you have told me, anecdotes are not data.

  10. Doug Ross


    A gang as defined by law enforcement has specific attributes one of which I would assume is that it engages in unlawful activity.

  11. Brad

    Doug, you do understand, of course, that if everyone were smart and savvy like you everyone would move to Blythewood, and then Blythewood would be the new Five Points.

    This sort of critical mass of humanity is going to happen somewhere, and wherever it happens, it’s a problem that we need to deal with. We don’t just retreat to our castles and pull up the moats and tut-tut about all those fools who don’t also live in castles. As citizens, we do all we can to stop the violence, wherever it occurs.

  12. bud

    Actually Doug crime exists EVERYWHERE. Blythewood is not immune. Not sure what would make you believe otherwise.

  13. Kathryn Fenner

    Crime happens plenty out where you are. A lot of it goes unreported, and most of it is not the random victim crime that gets reported in the paper. I actually can walk safely down my street any time of the day or night, too. It is extraordinarily well-lit and patrolled by two police departments. There are often other residents out at all ours as well.

    Five Points is a different case. There are too many bars serving too many people too many drinks. When CPD cracks down, the bar owners hire Joe McCulloch. State law is very pre-emptive, yet seriously under enforced. CPD can only do so much. We need more state liquor law enforcement. Target reduction is Five Points’s best chance.
    I wish Phillip’s hope that the students will wise up and shun Five Points isn’t going to happen. The appreciation of consequences and the belief that bad things can happen to you are not well developed in that age group.

  14. Mab


    “Plenty of bad stuff happens in the boonies.”


    Wow — I thought Doug lived on a teflon sea-floating RonPaulian island in the Gulf. He lives in Lexington County? That explains a lot.

    My son had a run-in with Bey’s Bar, CPD, RCEMS, Lexington Medical Center, LCSD (in that order) last May. Plenty of unanswered questions. Such as:

    1. Why did CPD bury the towing report (from Food Lion, Five Points)?

    2. Why is there STILL no CPD incident report available (re: black female officer that diagnosed him with schizophrenia) [they should pay her a helluva lot more with those talents]?

    3. Why did the ambulance [incident report indicting] take him to Lexington Medical Center rather than Palmetto Baptist?

    4. Why was he given the choice of being arrested or taken to the hospital, then taken to an out-of-county hospital AND THEN arrested by Lexington Medical Center security?

    5. Why did this “HOSPITAL” — a supposed believer in the school known as medicine/science not perform a drug test? For the invoice price, they should have shaken a little SCIENCE on the matter…

    6. [blah blah blah]

  15. Doug Ross

    Let me know how things go on solving the crime problem. It’s been around forever. You can’t solve it… all you’ll do is expect those of us who live in Blythewood to pay to keep it contained downtown.

    Sure, there’s crime everywhere. But there’s a pretty clear correlation between the concentration of lower income people in an area and the crime rate.

    Some people like living in cities and accept the higher crime rate in return for access to activities or work location. Some of us prefer living outside that world and accept longer commutes, etc. in return for larger yards, less traffic, less crime. The reality is that you will never get the crime rate down significantly in Five Points unless you can change the economic mix of the residents.

  16. Mab

    Doug: “…you will never get the crime rate down significantly in Five Points unless you can change the economic mix of the residents.”

    …To include an elite force of gravy-train-riding Hospitality Cops?

  17. Doug Ross


    Your link to Blythewood crime statistics shows Winnsboro, SC. If Blythewood is lumped in with Winnsboro, then of course the statistics would look worse. Winnsboro is more like downtown Columbia in terms of income levels. Winnsboro isn’t even in the same county as Blythewood – it’s 15 miles away.

    Try putting in Winnsboro and you get the same results…

  18. Doug Ross


    If you think Winnsboro has anything to do with Blythewood, then you definitely need to get out of Columbia once in a while.

    Different county, vastly different demographics, huge difference in schools. Blythewood is closer to Five Points than it is to Winnsboro.

  19. Doug Ross

    The crime statistics website even makes the following disclaimer:

    “Based on proximity to Blythewood, the data below is for Winnsboro, Sc which is the closest area included in the FBI database.”

    That website is pretty much useless for evaluating crime in certain areas. It gives the same rating for zip code 29203 as 29223 (Northeast Columbia). Median income is 31K in 29203 and 61K in 29223.

    Lexington, SC rating is a B+…I’d guess that Blythewood alone is closer to the B+ than the C- that Columbia gets.

    The State reported that there were 20 policemen on patrol in Five Points on Saturday night. We don’t see 20 policemen in a month out here in the boondocks.

  20. Tim

    I checked, and Doug is right. I couldn’t find a way to get just Blythewood. I don’t doubt it has less crime. That’s country/suburbs. The Sheriffs website is not easy to navigate. But then, City of Columbia’s website is abysmal.

  21. tired old man

    // When CPD cracks down, the bar owners hire Joe McCulloch.

    That is one big disappointment, and one that has not received too much attention. I understand and value the concept of competent legal representation for all parties in any dispute — but why McCulloch, who is a legislative candidate from a district bordering Five Points, did not distance himself from this issue at this particular point in time is baffling.

    I actually contributed to him, not so much for his merits as a statement in opposition to his opponent whose views are not acceptable to me.

    When I saw that he was representing the bar owners whose actions and track history is detrimental to my neighbors and me, I realized that I had thrown away my money by giving it to someone who valued it a whole lot more than larger public service.

  22. bud

    Lexington, SC rating is a B+…I’d guess that Blythewood alone is closer to the B+ than the C- that Columbia gets.

    Doug, you can “guess” at anything but that doesn’t make it so. As for Lexington, I live there and my subdivision had a big problem a couple of years ago involving cars getting vandalized. Several expensive electronic devices were stollen and we saw considerable police activity for a while. Just looking at the neighborhood you would have NEVER guessed something like that could occur there but it did. Not sure why you’re so adament in proclaiming Blythewood a crime free zone. That’s just a silly claim to make.

  23. Tim

    those events occur in every suburb from time to time. My old neighborhood was outside the city, and was essentially a one-road in community. The thieves come in waves, targetting a neighborhood with smash and grabs of laptops, etc, then they clear out when the police increase their presence in response. Over time, the police have to deploy resources elsewhere, then ‘rinse and repeat’.

  24. Doug Ross


    Try reading what I wrote. I didn’t say it was “crime-free”. I said there was significantly less crime.

    Do you have any data to prove otherwise.

    I bet the residents near Five Points would gladly trade a few group beatings and shootings for a stolen iPod.

    The website Tim provided showed that the number of incidents is 4 times lower in Lexington than Columbia. That seems pretty reasonable.

  25. Doug Ross


    I just re-read all my comments on this post. I never said anything close to Blythewood being crime-free. There is less crime. Significantly less. There’s a reason for that – and that’s why some people choose to live in one place versus another.

  26. bud

    There is less crime. Significantly less.

    Probably less than 5-Points but I doubt much if any less than Shandon. And you certainly haven’t made the case that it is significantly less. Comparing 5-Points, a largely nightclub hotspot, to any neighborhood dominated by middle/upper income housing is a false comparison.

  27. Steven Davis II

    I bet in Blythewood you could put something in your front yard and it’d still be there in the morning. Try that in Shandon and it’ll be gone. Was especially bad when the Section 8 folks were living in the Rosewood Projects. I had stuff disappear during the middle of the day when those people were aimlessly roaming the neighborhoods with leaf rake in hand.

  28. Doug Ross


    You haven’t made the case that there is significantly more.

    Blythewood is not a neighborhood. It is a town covering an area probably larger than downtown Columbia.

  29. Doug Ross


    Take an area of Columbia that extends from Benedict College to North Main Street/Sunset Rd. Think there’s a difference in that area’s crime rate compared to Blytehwood?

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