A tourist from Texas was arrested and charged with a hate crime on Thursday after sheriff’s deputies said he repeatedly punched an Asian man and made racist comments towards a family while visiting a park in Okaloosa Island, Florida.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the perpetrator was a 54 year old man named Wade Steven Anton. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office said that while at Beasley Park on Thursday, Anton became upset that children were petting his dog, which is where the argument stemmed from.
Officials said Anton asked the woman and her kids, who are of Asian descent, to leave his dog alone, which he said they ignored, reports WJHG. He then told the woman and her kids to “go back where they came from.”
The victim’s husband told authorities that during the argument, Anton suddenly ran towards them and punched him repeatedly, reports WJHG. The woman said to protect himself, her husband pulled out a handgun. Officials said that witnesses separated the two men.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, no injuries were reported. Anton is facing a first-degree misdemeanor battery charge, reports WJHG.
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