KENNESAW, Ga. — Police are working to find out who attacked a Kennesaw State University student outside his off-campus apartment over the weekend.
The student, Jalique Rosemond, who is Black, said two young white men he had never seen before rushed at him, beat him and called him racial slurs.
He had to go to the hospital; his attackers drove away.
It was a frightening, possibly life-threatening, ordeal that was over in seconds, he said.
“They were hitting me, they stomped on me,” Rosemond said Wednesday night. “As they’re beating me they’re referring to me as Black boy, boy, (expletive), constantly saying racial slurs as they’re attacking me.”
He was recalling the moments from just before midnight Saturday. Rosemond said he was arriving back at his apartment complex, West 22 Apartments, after working his part-time job as a Door Dash driver.
The KSU student remembers seeing a small group of young men standing in the parking lot, and he said he drove around them, and found a parking space, and got out of his car.
Kennesaw Police are trying to sort out exactly what happened next.
According to a police report released Thursday, a fight occurred inside the West 22 apartment complex around 12:11 a.m. early Sunday morning. Police said that the victim was attacked while exiting his car -- Rosemond said he is that victim.
The suspects then left the complex before police officers arrived, according to the report. Detectives are looking to speak with those who were driving a Jeep Wrangler -- a car that was seen on surveillance video next to the attack. That's the same car that Rosemond said two people were sitting inside of while he was being attacked.
Security camera video from late Saturday night shows part of the confrontation outside Rosemond’s apartment.
Rosemond said Wednesday that as the men were attacking him, he was able to run around a Jeep that was parked in the middle of the parking lot--he said two other young white men were sitting inside of it, watching the attack--and that’s when the two who were assaulting him beat him to the pavement, and kicked him in the face, breaking his nose.
“As one holds onto me, the other one approaches me and he says, ‘rip out that (expletive) dreads.’”
Rosemond got away, and ran the short distance to his first-floor apartment, but he couldn't find his keys, he realized he'd dropped them somewhere in the parking lot. He said he banged on his window, calling to his roommate for help.
“He was bleeding, and his nose was fractured,” said the roommate, Emmanuel Osakwe, who drove him to the hospital. He said Rosemond’s attackers got into the Jeep with the other two and they drove away--but not before they threw Rosemond’s backpack into a tree, and threw his keys under one of the cars in the parking lot as if to make it difficult for him to find them.
Kennesaw Police said that "this could ultimately be racially motivated" based on the video they currently have and the statements from those they've talked to.
The report also stated that all aspects of the case will be investigated before the proper charges are filed.
Osakwe and Rosemond said they have since learned that a witness told police that one of the white men claimed that Rosemond had tried to drive into a white man in the parking lot as the KSU student was arriving home.
“They said that I was driving recklessly in the neighborhood and hit their fraternity brother, which is completely wrong, that’s completely not true,” Rosemond said. “Because I consciously moved around them because I did see them in the middle of the road.”
Also, a witness told police that one of the white men claimed Rosemond had a gun.
“Nobody here owns a gun,” Osakwe said.
Rosemond said he does not ever carry a gun--while on the job for Door Dash or at any other time.
“Call it what it is -- it’s a hate crime,” Osakwe said. “It has to be. I can’t sugar coat it, because somebody came home after a long day’s work and got attacked at their car.”
Rosemond is a sophomore, taking classes at KSU's Coles College of Business and working toward his goal of establishing a career in the business world as an entrepreneur.
But his hope right now is that police are able to obtain all of the security camera videos from the apartment complex and possibly identify who beat him.
“I want them to be charged with assault, I want them to be charged with discrimination,” he said. “This was a pure hate crime. I’m blessed to be able to share this and give everybody the understanding that this is still the world that we live in, and I know it’s not everybody. I’m grateful that I’m able to tell my story because there are people that went through (something like) this and haven’t been able to tell their story.”
Kennesaw police continue to investigate and they are not yet classifying this as a hate crime. They are asking anyone who saw any of it, or who might know who attacked Rosemond, to call Detective Amica at the Kennesaw Police Department at 770-429-4533.
11Alive reached out for a report on hate crime charges and found that there were zero cases that arose to a hate crime charge in the city of Kennesaw in 2022.