HAYWARD (KPIX 5) — Blues, rock, and soul musician Lester Chambers was attacked during a performance in Hayward over the weekend after he dedicated a song to slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. A woman has been arrested in the attack.
According to witnesses, during a performance at the Hayward Russell City Blues Festival on Saturday, Chambers dedicated Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” to Martin. While he sung, a woman leapt onto the stage and attacked the 73-year-old singer. Several band members and fans tackled the woman and made a citizen’s arrest.
Chambers was taken to the hospital. He suffered bruises on his ribs and all over his body and is forced to walk with a cane.
At their Petaluma home, Chambers and his son Dylan shuddered as they watched video of the attack.
“It’s beyond fathomable that happened to my father, a legend, someone so powerful for peace,” Dylan Chambers told KPIX 5.
Lester Chambers recalled the attack. “I saw anger and for the short time I did see her she just came, ‘You m—–f——, you started this.’ Boom! And I was down,” he said.
The co-founder of the 1960s band The Chambers Brothers said he was singing about love and peace, as a tribute to Martin. He had just told the audience why he chose Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.”
“(Mayfield) sang ‘People get ready, there’s a train a coming.’ And if he was here today singing it, he would prefer probably that we would say, ‘People get ready there’s a change a coming,’” Lester Chambers told KPIX 5.
Officers said 43-year-old suspect Dinalynn Andrews-Potter of Barstow refused to speak to police. She was cited and released.
Lester Chambers has a new album coming out this week, but because of the attack he is too afraid to do live performances to promote it.
He was not afraid to offer the suspect forgiveness. “I would say to her, get a little God in your heart, and let a little love come out of your soul.”
The Chambers family believes the suspect should be charged with a hate crime, because the song was dedicated to Martin.
Police hope to turn the case over to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday.
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