Deputies in Erie County near Buffalo announced the arrest of a man accused of screaming racial slurs at a petite Asian American woman and then hitting her with a pool cue, reports WKBW.
The arrest of 46-year-old Charles Vacanti follows a month-long investigation of the March 19 incident in a bar.
According to the Buffalo News, Vacanti is accused of striking the victim and directing racial epithets at her. He faces one count of felony assault with intent to cause injury with a weapon as a hate crime and a misdemeanor count of criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use.
Investigators say five witnesses helped them to build their case against Vacanti.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia described the victim as just five feet tall. Vacanti is 5’7″ and weighs 270 pounds. He told WGRZ that size difference gives you a good idea of the severity of the injuries. The DA’s office said to WREN that she received stitches for a cut to the upper lip and
“They did not know each other. Now how they came about the altercation, that’s something I’d rather not comment on right now. What I could tell you is prior to the defendant striking the victim, he did use some racial slurs and then struck the victim,” Garcia said.
He says alcohol may have fueled the altercation. Garcia’s family says he’s a good man.
“He’s a great kid, he’s a hard worker he wasn’t raised to be nasty, and from what I understand he defended himself against this woman,” said Vacanti’s father to WGRZ.
Vacanti is out of jail on his own recognizance. The judge did issue a protective order for the victim.
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