A judge ruled today that a hate crime suspect accused of screaming racial epithets before hitting an Asian man with his car is not a significant danger, reports The Patriot Ledger.
As AsAmNews previously reported, the incident happened last week in Quincy, a suburb of Boston.
Judge Neil Hourihan ordered suspect John Sullivan, 77, to home confinement with no driving and no contact with his victims.
Authorities say Sullivan screamed “go back to China” at an Asian American family before running over one man with his vehicle. Sullivan faces charges on accusations of running over George Ngo and driving away with Ngo hanging on to the hood.
Sullivan then is said to have stopped his car abruptly, sending Ngo flying into the street and then striking him with his car a second time. Ngo suffered a concussion and several other injuries.
“I don’t think he’s a danger to anybody other than anybody here, if anything it was an issue with this car,” Sullivan’s attorney Patrick Donovan said to the Boston Globe.
Donovan also questioned the allegations that his client yelled any racial slurs.
“Nobody else [besides the victim and his family] heard any racial slurs, nobody heard any screaming. None of that was reported; the eyewitness did not report any of that,” he said.
Sullivan has a record which includes a case of witness intimidation and making threats in 2018 to commit a crime, prosecutor John Murphy told the judge.
“I think these facts are troubling, judge,” he said. “I think he’s a danger to these individuals, I think he’s a danger to the community.”
The victim’s sister who witnessed the attack, said she tried to record the incident, but that the suspect knocked her phone out of her hand.
“I felt very angry because I’ve never had direct racism towards me,” Desiree Thien told WCVB. “He said, ‘Go back to China. I’m going to go into the post office and come back out in five minutes. If you’re still here, I’m going to kill all of you.'”
Sullivan has pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a civil rights violation, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision causing personal injury.
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