“Florida man” is at it again.
This time, a Florida man has been charged with a hate crime after physically and verbally assaulting two Black high school students and their friend at a gas station.
Local news station WKMG reports Richard Burnham, 58, was arrested Wednesday on charges of criminal mischief causing damage of $1,000 and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. Those charges were enhanced as a hate crime due to alleged racist language.
According to the police report, Burnham confronted the group of teens around 3 p.m. Saturday as they were pumping gas. After throwing the N-word and some other racial slurs in their direction, Burnham grabbed a pipe from his truck and smashed one of the window’s of the teens’ vehicle.
“Somebody hit our window with a pole, we don’t know what type,” the victim said to the 911 dispatcher. “We don’t know what type of weapon it is but it was heavy and it shattered our window.”
“He hit us,” the caller continued. “[And] we kind of like pulled. We tried to like pull out of the way so he couldn’t hit us again and my friend got out of the car to, like, say what are you doing and he tried to come back and hit us, so we left because we were scared.”
After Burnham smashed one of their car windows, the victims drove off, at which point Burnham then followed them in his truck for two miles before finally giving up the chase.
“He tried to follow us… when he hit us, we tried to, like, pull out the way so he couldn’t hit us again and my friend got out the car and said like, ‘What are you doing?’ and then he tried to come back and hit us and we left because we were scared,” the teen said on the 911 call.
When questioned by police, Burnham alleged the teenagers shot at him with an airsoft gun and also threatened him. However, authorities claim none of the victims were in possession of an airsoft gun. Meanwhile, Andrew Gant of the Sheriff’s Office said Burnham never called law enforcement nor told the gas station attendant about any of the alleged threats.
After being booked into the Volusia County Jail, Burnham was released on a $40,000 bond Wednesday evening.
The need to keep this thug off the streets!
A DeLand man is facing enhanced charges in an unprovoked, racially prejudiced attack on a car occupied by three high school students at a gas station in the Osteen area. https://t.co/H5gM5gOM84 pic.twitter.com/tnVtsmwYkY
— Volusia Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) January 27, 2022