Man Charged With Misdemeanor Hate Crime In Attack On Teens In Edmond

Tuesday, September 4th 2012, 8:41 pm
By: News 9

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.

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

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.

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

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.