PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — On Monday police reported they officially arrested a man they suspect attacked another on the Vaughn Mall last July, after retrieving him from a county jail in Maine where he was serving a sentence for a parole violation.
Portsmouth police reported earlier in the summer, they were investigating whether the attack may have been racially motivated, since identifying the assailant as a black man who struck a white man outside The Page restaurant near the Worth Lot on July 15, according to witness accounts.
Josiah Mayo, 24, with a last known address of 48 Clinton St., Portsmouth, was identified by witnesses as the man who allegedly attacked a white man at approximately 1 a.m. on Sunday, July 15. Mayo has been charged with second-degree assault, a Class B felony. Witnesses from an approximate 20- to 25-person group exiting the bars previously reported to police a black male with curly hair punched the victim and then kicked him before leaving the scene.
Detective Sgt. Dave Keaveny said as of this week, police are still investigating the incident as being racially-charged, though they believe the 32-year-old white victim never uttered a racial slur, and perhaps Mayo was confused.
“As far as our investigation goes, the victim didn’t say anything. As far as the people he was with, or people (Mayo and his friends) thought he was with, and whether they were directed at Mr. Mayo or someone else, I couldn’t say,” Keaveny said, noting Mayo has made no statements to the department at this time. “He has referred any and all questions to his attorney so why he actually attacked the individual, I can’t say.”
The victim, a 32-year-old man from North Berwick, Maine, was found unconscious by officials last July, with a fractured skull, and transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital with injuries believed to be non-life threatening, and was later released in stable condition.
On Sept. 17, Portsmouth police retrieved Mayo from the New Hampshire State Prison after he was transferred from the Maine Department of Corrections. Following an arraignment, Mayo is now being held on $10,000 cash bail. He is due back for a probable cause hearing on Sept. 26, at 8 a.m.
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