Medford brothers jailed in racial fight

Two Medford brothers are in jail on assault, intimidation and other charges for reportedly shouting racial slurs and confronting two black teenagers in a brawl that disrupted traffic in downtown Medford Tuesday afternoon.

Medford police got several phone calls about a disturbance involving at least four people at about 3:25 p.m. Tuesday on Riverside Avenue between Main and Sixth streets.

Officers arrived to find a chaotic scene with people screaming and four young men fighting in a melee that spilled into the lanes of Riverside Avenue, Medford police Lt. Tim Doney said.

One of the apparent aggressors — later identified as Shaun Temple, 21, of the 1100 block of Niantic Street — ran as police arrived. His brother, Kevin Temple, 24, of the same address, fought with officers as they took him into custody and had to be restrained, Doney said.

After interviewing witnesses and those involved, officers reported that two black teenagers, a 19-year-old from Sun City, Calif., and a 17-year-old from Murrieta, Calif., were walking north on the west side of the street with two white young women when the Temples drove by in a van and shouted racial slurs. The van pulled into a parking lot at the Red Lion Hotel and the Temples ran across the street to physically confront the young men while yelling more racial slurs, Doney said.

"It was pretty ugly," Doney said.

He said drivers who witnessed the altercation stopped to call police and waited to give statements, and car salesmen from nearby lots also came to offer assistance. Witnesses pointed out Shaun Temple, who had fled the scene and returned to the parked van.

Shaun Temple was taken to a local hospital for stitches in a cut on his lip he sustained in the fight, then both Temples were lodged in the Jackson County Jail, where they remain today.

Shaun Temple is charged with first-degree intimidation, fourth-degree assault, harassment and disorderly contact, and his bail is set at $15,000. Kevin Temple is charged with first-degree intimidation, fourth-degree assault, harassment, disorderly contact and resisting arrest, and his bail is set at $19,000.

Under state law, first-degree intimidation charges apply when two or more people together threaten or harm someone because of the victim's race, color, religion, country of origin or sexual orientation.

— Anita Burke

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