Cleveland police have arrested Jermaine Hines Jr., a 24-year-old suspected gang member, for punching a woman in the face “because she was white” after accusing her of being a white supremacist.
The assault against the 51-year-old woman, which police are now considering a hate crime, occurred in August. Hines was arrested early Thursday on a charge of ethnic intimidation, a fifth-degree felony, and is scheduled for a court appearance this week. Hines admitted to authorities he attacked the woman “simply because she was white.”
The woman told investigators she’d never met Hines, who is affiliated with an unnamed street gang, court documents indicate. The victim has since been living in “constant fear” following the Aug. 21 attack in the city’s Brooklyn Centre, thinking Hines will “attack her or some other person simply because of the color of their skin.”
After knocking her to the ground, Hines yelled and accused the woman of being a white supremacist and a member of the Ku Klux Klan, despite the fact she has no affiliation or connection to any white supremacist organization.
Following the assault, the woman hurried home and told her 21-year-old son what happened. After calling the police, the two returned to the scene and snapped a cellphone photo of the assailant. Hines noticed and retaliated by knocking the phone from the son’s hand, cracking its screen, and accused him of being a member of a hate group.
Several witnesses heard Hines’ accusations, and threats to harm the woman and her son, prompting others to also call the police.
Hines has prior convictions for receiving stolen property and drug dealing.
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