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White Connecticut brothers, 27 and 28, are arrested after ‘chasing down three Black teenagers’

Two white Connecticut men have been arrested after they allegedly chased down three Black teenagers, yelled racial slurs at them and then stole their bikes, police say.

Brothers Matthew Lemelin, 27 and 28-year-old Michael Lemelin were both arrested and charged following the alleged racially-motivated encounter which took place around 1:30am on Main Street in Manchester on Sunday.

The three teens, aged 13, 14, and 15, told police how they had been riding their bicycles to a nearby gas station to pick up diapers for one of the boys’ family members when they were accosted by a white male, who called out ‘Rob what?’ or ‘Rob who?’ as they passed.

The teens say the man, whom they later identified to be Matthew Lemelin, then called them the n-word. They continued riding but soon after saw a Jeep Cherokee driving towards them with the same man and another man inside.

According to the three boys, the driver accelerated toward them and nearly hit one boy, police said. A witness also substantiated the claim to police, telling investigators she say the near-miss.

One of the men then got out of the truck and chased after the teens. He then stole one of the boy’s bicycles after the fleeing rider fell off and was forced to run away on foot.

The three terrified boys hid in a bush to escape their pursuers and dialled 911. They told police that the two men used dozens of racial slurs throughout the incident.

Michael Lemelin

Brothers Matthew (left) Lemelin, 27 and 28-year-old Michael Lemelin (right) were both arrested and charged following the alleged racially-motivated encounter about 1:30am on Main Street in Manchester on Sunday. Matthew Lemelin also faces charges from an earlier arrest in May in which he allegedly called a Black police officer the n-word

Christina Torres, the mother of one of the teens, 13-year-old Nasir White, fought back tears as she told NBC CT that 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, 13-year-old Nasir White, fought back tears as she told NBC CT that there’s ‘no doubt in my mind that if they got their hands on one of these little boys, they were gonna hurt them.’

They also told officers that people outside the nearby Cumberland Farms store told them they knew the men who had terrorized them and said they always yell ‘White lives Matter!’ warrants say.

Christina Torres, the mother of one of the teens, 13-year-old Nasir White, fought back tears as she told NBC CT that there’s ‘no doubt in my mind that if they got their hands on one of these little boys, they were gonna hurt them.’

‘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,’ the tearful mother added.

‘These are children and something needs to be done because they should not have to fear for their life,’ Torres continued. ‘They should not have to fear for their life and my son was in a bush fearing for his life and we need justice.’

Officers said they immediately began their investigation and the car involved was found in a driveway on Main Street. Police said they knocked on the door of the home on Main Street but they weren’t able to get in contact with the suspects.

Torres took matter into her own hands Sunday, turning up at the home of the Lemelin brothers and demanding they come outside to explain themselves for allegedly harassing and racially abusing her son and his friends.

Her calls were never answered, but police were eventually able to contact the men and they were arrested.

Matthew Lemelin faces charges that include intimidation based on bigotry or bias. His brother, Michael Lemelin, who is accused of driving after the fleeing teens, faces charges that include second-degree reckless endangerment.

Matthew Lemelin is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail, and Michael Lemelin is being held on bail of $5,000. Both are to appear in Superior Court on August 25.

Matthew Lemelin also faces charges from an earlier arrest in May in which he allegedly called a Black police officer the n-word.

Christina Torres, the mother of one of the teens, 13-year-old Nasir White, fought back tears as she told NBC CT that there’s ‘no doubt in my mind that if they got their hands on one of these little boys, they were gonna hurt them.’

Torres shown in tears

Christina Torres, the mother of one of the teens, 13-year-old Nasir White, fought back tears as she told NBC CT that there’s ‘no doubt in my mind that if they got their hands on one of these little boys, they were gonna hurt them.’

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

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

In their interactions with police involving the case of Torres’ son, Michael Lemelin told police he wasn’t chasing the boys, rather that his brother had asked him for a ride to a store in town, which turned out to be closed, police documents say.

As they were heading back home he claims Matthew Lemelin hopped out of the passenger door. Michael claimed to police that his brother wasn’t pursuing anyone, according to investigators.

Michael Lemelin, however, said that Matthew had been ‘pounding back the beers’ and was yelling out racial slurs. However, he claimed he didn’t know who Matthew was yelling at until his brother told him later that a group of teenagers had called him a ‘white cracker’.

However, police say that after reviewing Surveillance footage from a nearby pharmacy, the driver of the Lemelin brothers can been seen driving around searching for the teens – the ‘exact opposite of what Michael Lemelin claimed had happened’, police noted.

The video also shows the teens scattering as the Jeep pulls up beside, as reported by the Hartford Courant. The video does not show the near miss that the boys and the witness reported, nor could police determine if the teens directed any racial slurs at Matthew Lemelin.

Police say that numerous witnesses came forward claiming to have heard Matthew Lemelin yelling the n-word at the juveniles.

‘Matthew stated that he later learned that the kids were young teens,’ the warrant for his arrest says, as observed by the Courant. ‘He stated, if he had known that, he wouldn’t have done what he did.’

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,’ Samantha Bartone told the network.

Torres took matter into her own hands Sunday, turning up at the home of the Lemelin brothers and demanding they come outside to explain themselves for allegedly harassing and racially abusing her son and his friends.

Torres filming outside the Lemelin brothers' home

Torres took matter into her own hands Sunday, turning up at the home of the Lemelin brothers and demanding they come outside to explain themselves for allegedly harassing and racially abusing her son and his friends.

Bartone went on to say that she and her young daughter fear for their lives due to social media threats.

Dozens of people gathered in Manchester over the weekend, welding signs and chanting in unison in a collective voice of outrage over the incident.

A local business brought three new bikes for the teens involved, who were not in attendance for the demonstration.

‘We are coming here together to say that if this should happen again in this community, we’re going to find you, we’re going to make sure the police hold you accountable. We’re going to hold the police accountable,’ Power Up Manchester Founder Keren Prescott, who helped organize the protest, told the crowd.

This is the second time in as many months that Matthew Lemelin has been accused of using racial slurs.

During a May 20 arrest in which the 27-year-old was accused of breaking a car window and throwing things into the street, attending officer Rob Johnson, who is black, said that Lemelin had to be shot with a stun gun as he attempted to flee.

A physical altercation with police ensued, which Johnson claims he said after that he ‘didn’t have to jack him up and referred to me as some type of [n-word],’ the officer wrote.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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