Harvard police found a black man beaten and unconscious in front of Holyoke Center Friday night and after a chase through the Yard they arrested four white youths and charged them with the assault.
Cambridge police alleged that the most likely sequence of events began with an argument followed by an attack by the four white youths, while the black man unsuccessfully wielded a knife in defense. None of the men were Harvard students.
Police could not determine if the incident could be labeled as a "racial conflict."
Harvard police charged the four teenagers, two of whom were juveniles, with assault and battery with a deadly weapon--a pipe.
After the victim was released from the hospital, Cambridge police charged him with assault by means of a deadly weapon, a charge which indicates the man had never used the knife but had exposed it during the incident.