Matthew and Michael Lemelin, Manchester, Connecticut men arrested after chasing down three black teens on bikes in a vehicle and yelling racial slurs.
Two Connecticut men have been accused of chasing down three black teens on bikes in a vehicle and yelling racial slurs at them early Sunday morning.
Matthew Lemelin, 27 and 28-year-old Michael Lemelin were both arrested and charged following the alleged racially-motivated encounter about 1:30 a.m. on Main Street in Manchester, NBC Connecticut reports.
The teens told police the ‘white’ suspects started shouting racist slogans at them before getting into a vehicle and attempting to run the kids off the road and nearly hitting them as the kids made their way to a gas station in town.
One of the men also allegedly got out of their car and chased after the boys, they told cops.
‘There’s no doubt in my mind that if they got their hands on one of these little boys, they were gonna hurt them,’ Christina Torres, the mother of one of the teens, told NBC.
‘The men got into their truck and chased down our children. We gotta stand together, because this could have been very different. I could have woken up on Sunday morning to my child dead,’ Torres said.
‘I’ve always told my son that you have to work 10 times harder because of the color of his skin and it pains me to tell him that but it’s the truth,’ Torres continued. ‘We need justice and we need to work to ensure incidents like this don’t happen to another group of black boys.’
Shortly after the incident, cops located the suspects’ vehicle in a nearby driveway.
Nobody answered the door initially, but cops were later able to obtain arrest warrants.
A woman who identified herself as the fiancee of Michael Lemelin, reached out to NBC Connecticut saying he is ‘an upstanding citizen and not a racist.’
‘We support Black Lives Matter,’ said Samantha Bartone.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
Both men were charged with risk of injury to a minor, second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.
Matthew is also facing a charge of intimidation based on bigotry and bias.