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Man Charged With Hate Crime After Altercation In Edmond

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James Roper James Roper

The Oklahoma County District Attorney has charged 31-year-old James Brian Roper with assault and battery based on race following a confrontation between him and four black teenagers.

The teens told police they were walking near Sand Springs Trail and Fountainview in Edmond around 10 p.m. on June 27. They said a car driven by Roper passed them, then swerved around and tried to hit them. The teens began to run. They said Roper got out of his car and chased them.

6/29/2012 Related Story: Details Released In Possible Hate Crime In Edmond

The police said Roper caught up to one of the victims, began punching him and calling him racial slurs. The teen said he punched Roper back in self-defense. When the fight ended, police said Roper acted as if he had a gun in his pants, then pulled up his shirt and showed the teens a tattoo of a swastika on his stomach. He then climbed into his car and drove away.

In an interview, Roper told News 9 that he didn't do anything wrong. He said he saw the teens trying to break into a house, so he chased them. He said he doesn't remember punching the teen, but if he did he only did it in self-defense.

Roper said he was trying to help his neighbors after a series of car and home break-ins in the area; but investigators said he went after the teens because they were black.

6/29/2012 Related Story: Man Accused In Edmond Possible Hate Crime Speaks To News 9 Before His Arrest

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