Wife says football not motive for beating
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The wife of a Pennsylvania man attacked after Saturday's football game in Morgantown says the assault was random and had nothing to do with a school rivalry.
Police say Marcus Mason, 30, of Canonsburg, Pa., was pulled from his car in bumper-to-bumper traffic and beaten by a group of white males.
Mason's wife Hannah, 32, said neither she nor her husband was wearing anything that would have identified them as Louisiana State University fans. They were in a white car with Pennsylvania plates with no LSU stickers or flags.
"I was wearing a baby blue jacket. The only guy that had on any LSU paraphernalia was sitting in the back seat of my car, which has black tinted windows. And it was night," she said.
She said she's disturbed some are blaming her husband's attack on WVU's rivalry with LSU.
"These guys were looking for a fight. It didn't matter who we were," she said. "I really don't like this craziness. There's a big enough fight between WVU and LSU."
Marcus sustained a broken nose, a crushed eye socket and a fractured frontal bone in the middle of his forehead. He did not suffer brain damage, though, and his vision was unaffected.
He was taken to Monongalia General Hospital for treatment but was later transferred to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for surgery.
Doctors in Pittsburgh performed surgery Monday. Hannah, who is 22 weeks pregnant, said they expect her husband to make a full recovery. He returned home around noon Tuesday.
"Marcus is on the mend. I'm doing OK, but I'm not handling this well," she said.
His eyes are doctors' biggest concern: his eyeball was not affected, though the socket around it was crushed. He'll have follow-up appointments with doctors to make sure everything is healing correctly, she said.
Hannah said she spoke with Morgantown Police early Tuesday morning and gave a full statement on the incident.
She and two friends, who were also in the car, sustained minor injuries from the attacks. Monongalia General doctors found Hannah's unborn child was not hurt.
Police on Tuesday identified the other passengers as Nathan Glen Ray, 32, of Houston, Texas, and Douglas Lewis, 34, also of Canonsburg.
Hannah and Marcus are originally from Natchez, Miss. They moved to Canonsburg, which is about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh, in 2010.
Hannah said she's also spoken with West Virginia University officials, who have expressed concern and sympathy.
"That was appreciated," she said.
Police are still looking for the assailants.
Witnesses described them as white males and said they may have driven off in a light-colored SUV, according to a press release from Morgantown Police on Tuesday.
The department doesn't have much more information than that, Lt. Harold Sperringer said.
Sperringer said witnesses provided police with a license plate number but that number did not match any plates in West Virginia or surrounding states. He said detectives are trying different variants of the number, in case someone misread the plate on Saturday.
He also said one of the victims reported the assailants were wearing WVU colors. But with more than 60,000 people at Saturday's game, that doesn't help much to identify the suspects.
"The odds are, they were wearing West Virginia colors," he said. "But one of West Virginia's colors is yellow, which is an LSU color."
He said the victims and witnesses didn't remember anything else about the attackers.
"It's a traumatic incident. That happens. Some people see it but they don't remember it," Sperringer said.
WVU's Department of Public Safety is assisting Morgantown Police in the investigation.
Anyone with information about the attacks is asked to call Morgantown Police at 304-284-7454 or 304-284-7522.
Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or email@example.com.