The Edmond Sun

Local News

July 3, 2012

DA files hate crime charge in Edmond case

EDMOND — A formal hate crime charge has been filed against an Edmond man arrested for his alleged actions aimed at several juveniles, according to court records.

On Wednesday, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater filed a misdemeanor assault and battery based on race hate crime charge against James Brian Roper, 31, of Edmond.  

No future court dates have been scheduled at this time.

Roper, who was arrested Friday by the Oklahoma City Police Department for a parole violation in a 2007 felony case, was incarcerated in the Oklahoma County jail Tuesday afternoon. A bond amount had not yet been determined, according to jail records.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Edmond Police Officer Matthew Richardson in Oklahoma County District Court officers investigated an incident involving the defendant.

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.

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.

Police said after the altercation the suspect was walking back to his car when he turned and 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 15-year-old 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.

Last week 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.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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