Texas man facing hate crime charge for assaulting an Asian family after their kids petted his dog
A Texas man is now facing a hate crime charge following his alleged assault of an Asian family while vacationing in the Florida panhandle.
According to ABC News, the incident occurred on Thursday, June 10 on Okaloosa Island in Florida. Based on statements from witnesses, Wade Anton, a 54-year-old from Forney, Texas, is said to have spewed racist remarks at an Asian man, his wife, and their children as he suggested they should "go back where they came from."
The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office also reported that Anton was also heard making racial slurs toward the family.
Speaking to law enforcement authorities in Okaloosa, Anton claimed the incident began when the couple's children petted his dogs. He also claims the woman ignored him when he asked them to leave the dogs alone. Not long after that interaction, the situation quickly escalated into a physical altercation between Anton and the woman's husband.
In a statement posted on social media, the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office offered a brief overview of the incident.
"The woman's husband says they were all initially separated by about 25 feet during the verbal argument, but Anton ran around the park railings and began punching him repeatedly," the law enforcement agency's statement read. "He told deputies as Anton was running towards him, he pulled a handgun to protect himself."
Anton has been charged with hate crime-related battery and is now in custody at the Okaloosa Department of Corrections. He is currently being held on a $10,000 bond and will remain there until his hearing.
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