Prosecutors have dropped criminal charges in the September fight and shooting that left the Glenwood High School Principal knocked out and bloody. They initially charged two men with assault, and the principal's stepson with a felony for firing a gun during the street corner melee.
This is the first time the public has heard from Principal Richard Hutchinson or his stepson, former Iowa State basketball player Hurl Beechum. They say the altercation was fueled by racial aggression.
Principal Hutchinson tells the story about what happened outside his Glenwood home in September when he overheard a group of young adults using a racial slur.
“In my opinion a racial slur is never ok,” Hutchinson explained. “There was nothing threatening in the way that I approached them.”
He wanted to use it as a teaching moment since he’s heard the word uttered in his neighborhood before. But “Hutch”, as he’s known, says one attacks him and another jumps in.
“I do know I was hit and had fractured my eye because I did not want to listen to the word, the “n” word at my residence,” Hutchinson describes.
His stepson Hurl Beechum says he was also attacked and went in to get his gun, when he sees his father unconscious being hit by two men. He says they don’t stop so he fires.
“Arriving back out there the scene was unthinkable,” Beechum added. “They paint a picture of you being a criminal when you justifiably protect yourself and your family.”
Beechum’s shooting charges including three felonies are dismissed since the Mills County Attorney says it’s reasonable to believe his actions were justified. Felony willful injury charges are dropped against Colt McDaniel and Denver Cook because they couldn’t prove who the primary aggressor was.
Beechum’s attorney says this enables them to continue this behavior.
“The biggest problem with this case is the lack of attention the assailants’ racial aggression was given,” said Deshawne Bird-Sell, Beechum’s attorney.
Principal Hutchinson has since recovered from a broken orbital bone. He says the community has given him support since the altercation. He hopes people see it’s not ok to use racial slurs, and he will stay in Glenwood as long as his safety is as important as everyone else’s safety.
In an October interview, Colt McDaniel told KMTV Action 3 News they were using the racial word as slang to another friend, and they were trying to help Hutchinson when Beechum came out with the gun.
Beechum says he has a Concealed Carry Permit.