Man charged with hate crime after verbal, physical assault on family of Asian descent

·1 min read
Man charged with hate crime after verbal, physical assault on family of Asian descent

A man has been charged with a hate crime after verbally abusing and physically assaulting a family of Asian descent while on vacation in Florida.

The incident occurred at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, on Okaloosa Island on the Florida panhandle about 40 miles east of Pensacola, when witnesses say that 54-year-old Forney, Texas, tourist Wade Anton reportedly told a woman and her children to “go back where they came from” and then made a racial slur against them, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

MORE: McDonalds customer spits at 1 employee, shoots another during pick-up window argument: Police

Authorities say that Anton told the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department the incident began because the woman’s children were petting his dogs and supposedly ignored him when he asked them to leave his dogs alone.

The situation allegedly quickly escalated from there after Anton allegedly made the incendiary remarks to the family.

MORE: Man arrested after attempting to run over cops, driving car through police station lobby

PHOTO: Wade Anton, 54, of Forney, Texas, has been arrested in Okaloosa, Florida, and charged with a hate crime after allegedly verbally abusing and physically assaulting a family of Asian descent while on vacation on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
PHOTO: Wade Anton, 54, of Forney, Texas, has been arrested in Okaloosa, Florida, and charged with a hate crime after allegedly verbally abusing and physically assaulting a family of Asian descent while on vacation on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)

MORE: 9 juveniles injured in gunfight that broke out at 12-year-old's birthday party

“The woman's husband says they were all initially separated by about 25 feet during the verbal argument, but Anton ran around the park railings and began punching him repeatedly,” said the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department in a statement on social media. “He told deputies as Anton was running towards him, he pulled a handgun to protect himself.”

People who witnessed the altercation reportedly were able to separate the two men and nobody was seriously injured.

MORE: Woman kills man and his dog in hit-and-run while fleeing from another hit-and-run only moments before: Police

Anton, however, has now been charged with hate crime related battery, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and is being held by the Okaloosa Department of Corrections on a $10,000 bond while he awaits a hearing.

Man charged with hate crime after verbal, physical assault on family of Asian descent originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting