Texas tourist charged with hate crime related battery
OKALOOSA ISLAND, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A tourist was arrested Thursday after sheriff’s deputies said he made racial slurs towards a family while visiting a park in Okaloosa Island.
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputies said they arrested Wade Steven Anton, 54, of Texas, and have charged him with a hate crime.
Deputies said he told a woman and her children, who are of Asian descent, to “go back where they came from.” Anton told deputies the argument began after the woman’s children began petting his dogs. Officials said Anton told them he asked the woman and her kids to leave his dogs alone, but he said they ignored him.
Authorities said during the argument, the victim’s husband told them Anton suddenly ran towards them and began punching him repeatedly; however, to protect himself, the woman’s husband told deputies he pulled out a handgun.
Officials said the two men were separated by witnesses. No one was seriously injured during the incident.
Anton is facing a first-degree misdemeanor battery charge.
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