Police: Man Faces Hate Crime Charge In Unprovoked Attack

Cab Driver Helps Police Locate Suspect

MADISON, Wis. - A Madison man has been arrested in connection with an attack in downtown Madison that sent the victim to a hospital.

Madison police said Derek J. Cannon, 21, was arrested on charges of substantial battery and disorderly conduct with a hate crime enhancer following the incident early Wednesday morning.

Police said the victim, 40-year-old Madison man, originally from Morocco, cried as he told police how he was walking with a friend toward State Street about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday when their attention was drawn to two men acting wildly.

The men were knocking over and attempting to damage parked mopeds in the 200 block of West Gorham Street, police said.

The victims said they tried to hurry from the area as at least one of the men came at them. One victim told police the suspect said, "(Expletive) Osama Bin Laden."

He fled, but his friend was punched, knocked to the ground and kicked, police said. At some point, the victim said he believes he lost consciousness, police said. The victim was taken to a hospital with head injuries.

With the help of a cab driver, officers were able to track down a suspect. He claimed he had reacted in self defense, but police said several independent witnesses told officers it was clear the arrested suspect was the aggressor and that the victim was doing all he could to get away.

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