Only On 7: Lester Chambers claims attack was hate crime

August 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
In July a woman climbed on stage and assaulted musician Lester Chambers at a blues festival in Hayward. Now he's calling for tough criminal prosecution of his attacker because he believes he was the victim of a hate crime. It's video and an interview you'll see only on ABC7 News.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office decided prosecutors will file two felony charges against the Barstow, California woman accused of attacking Chambers. However, it is not the kind of charges he feels is warranted and he has now hired a high-profile attorney.

Chambers says he is in misery. His body and soul are bruised.

"My nerves are shot, I shake. I can't sleep," said Chambers.

Last month the 73-year-old singer, a founding member of the legendary 1960s band "The Chambers Brothers" was doing what he does best, performing at the Hayward Blues Festival, while he was attacked.

Fuse TV video shows the woman, identified as 43-year-old Dinalynn Andrews Potter, crashing the concert and jumping on stage. It was just after Chambers had dedicated a song to the family of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

"Started calling me MFs and SBs with different slurs and screaming at me, 'You started this! You started this you MF!' and she hit me," said Chambers.

When asked why he thought she did that, he said, "Hate. She had hate in her face like a demon. Oh, God it was ugly."

Andrews Potter was cited for misdemeanor battery and released. Chambers wants her charged with a hate crime, but late Tuesday afternoon the Alameda County District Attorney decided instead on felony elder abuse and felony assault.

"I have a great big lump over here on my left rib cage, under my shoulder," said Chambers.

The injuries have put a halt to a comeback of sorts. The musician made famous for playing the cowbells and singing the classic hit "Time Has Come Today" is releasing his first album in years. But he says performing is now painful. He's hired noted civil rights attorney John Burris to press his case.

"I do suggest they see that they see this the way it really is. Honestly, it is a hate crime. There's no other reason for it," said Chambers.

According to the Hayward Police Department, a warrant will be issued on Wednesday for the arrest of Andrews Potter.


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