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December 16th, 1998
Last month, an American english teacher was beaten unconscious after he defended a Roma boy. Local police, however, do not believe that the attack had a racial subtext.

According to Bob Joyce, an American english teacher in Hodonin, southern Moravia, he was enjoying his usual Saturday night dinner at a local restaurant, when a skinhead walked up to a Roma boy at his table and told him to get out of the restaurant. It was then when Mr. Joyce came to the boy's aid and shouted at the skinhead including words like fascist and racist.

When Mr. Joyce left the restaurant to go home, he was chased by the skinhead and was beaten unconscious in front of a petrol station. The attack was recorded by a surveillance camera from which the offender was identified as Nikola Holub, a 20year old soldier.

Although the local police have heard this testimony, they still reject his claim that the attack had a racial subtext, reason being that there were several other testimonies that were slightly different. The restaurant's manager, for example, claimed that there was no Roma boy sitting at Mr. Joyce's table. Furthermore, he added that on the night in question, he saw the victim and the offender shake hands.

Several witnesses believed that the reason of attack could have been different sexual preferences as Mr. Joyce's body language and behaviour made Nikola Holub believe that he was a homosexual. And according to the Hodonin police spokeswoman, Lucie Krastenicova, they're not even sure whether Nikola Holub is a member of the skinhead movement.

So with all these uncertainties in the way of police research, a stronger sentence than three years in prison for hooliganism and bodily harm, which Holub was charged with last Friday, cannot be given.

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