Police have arrested Terry Rawls
, 44, in the mob-beating of Matthew Owens, according to the Mobile police spokesman Cpl. Christopher Levy.
Rawls has a lengthy criminal history, including a previous conviction for first-degree assault, according to court records.
Levy said police believe a large number of neighbors from Saturday's incident were present during the attack but that most of them only watched.
He said two or three additional arrests are possible.
Tucker said the suspect and the victim have a history of conflict that dates as far back as the summer of 2009.
Levy said that year the two men became involved in a physical confrontation. A witness had reported that Rawls used a baseball bat in the 2009 fight, Levy said, but that the witness later said he could not say for sure.
Levy said police presented information to the Mobile District Attorney's Office at the time. Prosecutors reduced the charge to third-degree assault, but dropped it when Owens declined to pursue it.
"This here is an incident stemming from an ongoing dispute between neighbors,"
Tucker expressed a similar sentiment. "That's an important fact that needs to get out to the public. This was not some random event that came out of nowhere."
Levy also said that police have set up a meeting to present information in the case to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office.