Fatal beating follows pedestrian accident
Jun 21,2007 00:00 by UPI

AUSTIN, Texas - Police in Austin, Texas, on Thursday were looking for witnesses to the beating of a man killed after the car he was riding in struck a child.

David Rivas Morales, 40, was beaten after he stepped out of the car to help the driver who'd been confronted when he went to check on a child he'd hit in a parking lot, police said. The driver, who was able to get back into the car, wasn't seriously injured, and the child was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Police said there were between 2,000 and 3,000 people in the area when Morales and the driver were attacked.

The attack wasn't thought to be racially motivated but leaders of Austin's minority communities were meeting to deal with the fallout since the attackers were black and Morales and his friend were Hispanic, The Dallas Morning News reported.

"East Austin right now is at a certain stage where small things can erupt into something major," said Rita Gonzales-Garza, of the League of United Latin American Citizens. "I just want to try to prevent that."

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