Assault charge: Man yelled 'You don't belong in this country,' slapped St. Paul neighbor

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Jul. 16—Prosecutors say a St. Paul man slapped a neighbor and yelled anti-Muslim statements toward him on Thursday night.

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office charged Benjamin Lee Barnes, 24, on Friday with fourth-degree assault motivated by bias and first-degree criminal damage to property.

Officers called to a downtown apartment building at East Seventh and Wacouta streets at 10:30 p.m. Thursday found Barnes and he yelled, "You (expletive) Muslim — leave America," the complaint said.

Police previously responded to the apartment due to Barnes accusing a neighboring family "of being terrorists and alleging they would bomb or attack people," the complaint said, which added he was being evicted from the building.

An 18-year-old told officers he heard loud banging on his door on Thursday, opened it and Barnes yelled, "You (expletive) Islam. I'm going to beat your sister's (expletive). You don't belong in this country," the complaint said. Barnes allegedly slapped the teen's face four times and left.

The teen later went to the elevator and Barnes was inside. Barnes continued verbally harassing him and punched him, which led the 18-year-old to defend himself and punch Barnes back, the complaint continued.

Officers arrested Barnes and put him in a squad car. He kicked the squad's door "with such force that the frame was damaged and bent," the complaint said.

An attorney for Barnes wasn't listed in the court record as of Friday.

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