Achille police say attack on mayor is now under FBI investigation

Published: Mar. 4, 2019 at 6:39 PM CST
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It was at a gas station on Highway 78 where Achille mayor David Northcutt was assaulted, leaving him with two black eyes and woke up in a pool of his own blood.

Because Northcutt claims he was attacked for being openly gay.. the Achille police department says the FBI is now investigating this case as a hate crime.

Northcutt's mother Billie Harder says she was heartbroken to see the condition of her son after he was attacked over the weekend.

Northcutt came to our studio bloodied and bruised and showed us his injuries after he was released from the hospital Saturday.

"I don't understand why people can't just love each other instead of hate each other, because I've never known my son to do anything except love people and try to help people," said Harder.

Police say the suspect in the assault is local businessman Burney Crenshaw.

They say Crenshaw walked inside the store and saw Northcutt buying lunch, called him homophobic slurs, and poked him in the face.

When Northcutt tried to leave, they say Crenshaw wouldn't let him, first punching him in the face and when Northcutt fell to the ground, Crenshaw stomped on him.

"No one should live in fear of the lifestyle that they live, and choose to live under their first amendment rights," said Achille assistant police chief John Choate.

Northcutt - who has his own legal troubles - says he's now recovering from these injuries.

He faces burglary and drug possession charges from a home break-in last year.

Police say Crenshaw is on the run from authorities. Our attempts to reach him for comment were not successful.

If convicted, we're told Crenshaw could face up to 10 years in federal prison.

"Its time for our town to step up and be like any other town, just love each other and help each other," said Harder.

Northcutt says he does not seek re-election as Achille's mayor next month.