An Edmond man was arrested after driving at juveniles, punching one of them in the face, calling them “gang bangers, crips and thugs and using the ‘n-word’,” police said.
The details are described in an affidavit of probable cause filed by Edmond Police Officer Matthew Richardson in Oklahoma County District Court. The document was released Friday.
At about 8 p.m. Wednesday, Richardson responded to a call about an armed subject at Sand Springs Trail and Fountain View, according to the affidavit. On the way he saw Officer Ben Daves speaking with three black juveniles on the northeast corner of 15th Street and Kelly Avenue.
Richardson parked his squad car nearby in the McDonald’s parking lot and approached the officer and the four juveniles sitting in the Bank of Oklahoma parking lot, police said. Daves left to go to the suspect’s location while Richardson asked each of them to give their account of what happened, police said. They all confirmed the same story, police said.
According to the affidavit the suspect passed them in his car and swerved around to drive at them. Police said the juveniles scattered and the suspect chased after them saying “Why y’all running?” One of the juveniles tried to jump the fence, but fell when it broke.
The suspect pursued two of the juveniles on foot, according to the affidavit. He caught up to one of them and began punching him in the face, police said. He purportedly called them “gang bangers, crips and thugs” and used the n-word, police said.
One of the juveniles attempted to defend himself by punching at the suspect’s head, police said. After hearing screaming another returned to the scene and asked the suspect why he was punching his brother, police said.
According to the affidavit the suspect reached into the front of his pants as if he were reaching for a gun. Police said the suspect began walking back to his car when he turned he lifted his shirt revealing a tattoo of a swastika above his stomach. Police said as he pointed to the tattoo he purportedly said, “I ain’t gonna have no gang bangers in my neighborhood.”
Police said the wounded juvenile suffered multiple injuries to the right side of his face, a gouge to the back of his right ear lobe and a re-opened deep cut on his right hand above his knuckles.
According to the affidavit, the suspect, James Brian Roper, is age 31, the injured juvenile age 15. Roper was arrested Wednesday and booked on a complaint of aggravated assault and battery.
Efforts to reach Roper for comment were not successful by press time. Media outlets reported that he denied race was a motive in the incident and said the juveniles taunted him and that they initiated the altercation.
After posting bond, at about 5:15 p.m. Friday the suspect was being processed into the county jail. Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said he was arrested earlier in the afternoon by the Oklahoma City Police Department for a parole violation in a 2007 felony case that resulted in Roper pleading guilty to multiple charges, according to court records. In 2009, his prison sentence ended. He was serving a suspended sentence until 2017 and was on probation until 2018.
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