A Massachusetts man has been charged with several hate crimes after he drove his truck toward a group of Black kids while yelling out racial slurs.
According to Fox 5, last Thursday (April 15), Shane Belleville was charged with several crimes, including assault with a dangerous weapon, civil rights violations and assault with intent to intimidate based on race. Authorities arrived at the playground at Holbrook Middle Senior High School on April 10 after a caller reported that a man in a pickup truck tried to run over a group of children.
Police said there was an argument between two of the kids — one white and one Black. The other children joined in and the confrontation turned physical. Racial slurs were used, but no serious injuries were reported.
One of the kids called Belleville to come help, but by the time he arrived, the fighting had ended.
The group of Black kids walked away from the school when Belleville drove his truck onto the path and came face-to-face with them. The kids and the man reportedly started yelling at each other and a teenage girl spat in Belleville’s face. He, in turn, allegedly slapped her.
The man then got into his truck and reversed toward the group, while yelling out racial slurs several times. Luckily, none of the children were injured by the vehicle.
Holbrook Police Chief William Smith said he was “extremely dismayed” by the situation.
“This type of behavior has no place in our community and I am calling for our community members in Holbrook to come together to recognize the gravity of what took place in our town,” he said in a statement. “We need to have real conversations with our children and with each other to avoid this type of situation from ever happening here again.”
Belleville has since been released from prison after posting $750 bail.