A man accused of trying to run down four black teenagers in Edmond is now charged with a misdemeanor hate crime.
The incident happened on June 27. According to police, four black teenagers say a white man, later identified as 31-year-old James Roper, tried to run them down with his car in an Edmond neighborhood before beating up one of the teens.
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.
The incident means James Roper violated his probation on a previous conviction.
Roper has agreed to a plea deal and is expected to serve three years in prison. Formal sentencing is set for October 9.