In what police are describing as an unprovoked attack, on Monday, a 38-year-old African American man in Atlantic City stabbed an 18-year-old man for no other reason than he is White, according to the police.
The assailant is Tyler Smith, charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, bias intimidation, and weapons offenses, according to police records. Smith has a rap sheet stretching back to 2005 for a drug offense. He allegedly stabbed the victim, an unnamed man from Egg Harbor Township, in the neck near the Stanley S. Holmes village housing projects in Atlantic City. Crime has been an ongoing problem at the low-income housing project.
According to reports, the two men did not know each other. Smith reportedly asked others why white people were allowed in the primarily black and brown neighborhood before violently stabbing the victim and running away. Smith dropped his wallet during the attack and was later identified in surveillance videos. He was arrested and is currently being held. If convicted, Smith could spend decades in prison. The victim is in the hospital and recovering from a severe neck wound.
According to various statistics and reports, violent crime in the resort city has increased in the last year or two. The boost in the number of assaults, robberies and other crimes prompted Atlantic County Prosecutor Will Reynolds to establish a Violent Crime Initiative in December. At the time, Reynolds said, “The Atlantic County Prosecutor Office is creating a working group of law enforcement agencies at the local, county, state and federal level to address violent crime in Atlantic City and Atlantic County.”