A White male suspect in Florida was arrested for an unprovoked attack. The man used a metal pipe to smash a car with three high school students inside–two of whom were Black.
Richard Burnham, a 58-year-old man from DeLand, Florida, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal mischief.
His charges were elevated to a hate crime by officials because the suspect allegedly hurled racial epithets during the attack.
Slur-spewing Florida man arrested after shattering Black teens' car windows with a pipe. Volusia County sheriff's deputies say that 58-year-old Richard Burnham over the weekend approached two Black teens while they were filling up their car at a local gas station.pic.twitter.com/2ncBRMiEi6— BigDaddy (@BigDaddy) 1643546062
Surveillance footage taken at a Circle K gas station in Volusia County near where the attack occurred was used to track him down.
Burnham reportedly approached the teens and started yelling at them using racial slurs–including the n-word.
On a 911 call, one of the victims said:
"He was just kind of saying something to us and my friend who was driving. It's his car, he told him like get away from the car, back up."
Good Lord! WTF is wrong with people? This was an unprovoked attack on 3 teenagers just sitting in their brand new car.\n\nDeLand man who smashed teens\u2019 car window with pipe to face hate crime charges, deputies sayhttps://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/crime/os-ne-deland-man-hate-crime-metal-pipe-attack-20220127-gthbrwh2fvhavmehhmjmo2ednu-story.html\u00a0\u2026— Defeat Covid \ud83d\ude37 \ud83d\udc89 \ud83d\udc99\ud83c\udf0a (@Defeat Covid \ud83d\ude37 \ud83d\udc89 \ud83d\udc99\ud83c\udf0a) 1643325414
You can watch a news report, here.
According to a police report, Burnham went into a convenience store after verbally harassing the teenagers around 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Must be one of those friendly #Florida republicans.https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2022/01/27/deland-man-faces-hate-crime-charges-after-racist-attack-on-3-teens-deputies-say/?outputType=amp\u00a0\u2026— Rachel (@Rachel) 1643362937
The teens said things escalated when Burnham re-emerged from the store.
He reportedly went to retrieve a metal pipe from his Dodge Ram truck and rushed toward the vehicle with the students.
We in 2022 and Hate still the biggest thing in Amerikkka pic.twitter.com/9KR4ZLB3Vs— Mr. NO Bitches (@Mr. NO Bitches) 1643665621
One of the victims told the 911 dispatcher:
“Somebody hit our window with a pole, we don’t know what type. We don’t know what type of weapon it is but it was heavy and it shattered our window.”
The frightened caller continued:
"He hit us [and] we kind of like pulled. We tried to like pull out of the way so he couldn’t hit us again and my friend got out of the car to, like, say what are you doing and he tried to come back and hit us, so we left because we were scared.”
Burnham continued to pursue them in his truck and trailer towing two four-wheelers after the teens drove away in an effort to distance themselves from their attacker.
After driving for two miles down S.R. 415, Burnham retreated.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office explained the enhancement of the charges was due to the suspect committing “an unprovoked, racially prejudiced attack on a car occupied by three high school students at a gas station in the Osteen area.”
However, Burnham maintained that statement was false.
He claimed the teens assaulted him first and he acted in retaliation when the teens threatened to kill him and they shot at him with an airsoft gun–which is a toy gun.
But the police said Burnham never called 911 and they added his story didn't line up with that of the high schoolers.
Oher discrepancies in his recollection of events included the fact police on the scene found no firearms on the teens.
I hope this hate crime doesn't go unpunished.https://www.rawstory.com/hate-crime-2656493747/\u00a0\u2026— Sean #BlackLivesMatter (@Sean #BlackLivesMatter) 1643322301
Lying racist better go to prison...but FLORIDA\n\n\u2018We Were Scared\u2019: 58-Year-Old Florida Man Smashes Window of Black Teens\u2019 New Car, Then Follows Them for Miles; Now He Faces Hate Crime Charges In Unprovoked Attack https://news.yahoo.com/were-scared-58-old-florida-133000363.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=tw&tsrc=twtr\u00a0\u2026 via @Yahoo— \ud83d\udd25 Jeannette is FOR #VOTING RIGHTS\ud83d\uddfd #TeamPelosi (@\ud83d\udd25 Jeannette is FOR #VOTING RIGHTS\ud83d\uddfd #TeamPelosi) 1643644900
On Wednesday, Burnham was released from Volusia County Jail on a $40,000 bond.