Man Accused In Edmond Possible Hate Crime Speaks To News 9 Before His Arrest

Friday, June 29th 2012, 7:45 pm
By: News 9

An Edmond man accused of running down four black teenagers is back behind bars. James Brian Roper was arrested Wednesday night and released the following day.

But Friday night, he's back in jail, accused of violating his probation.

6/29/2012 Related Story: Suspect In Possible Edmond Hate Crime Attack Arrested At Work

Before that happened, he talked to News 9 Crime Tracker Adrianna Iwasinski about his side of the story.

News 9 showed Brian James Roper the police affidavit that states he went after the four teenagers, and then beat one of them up. But Roper told us he was the one who was assaulted Wednesday night.

We talked to him just hours before he was arrested by Oklahoma City police.

"What I did, I didn't do anything wrong, I was looking out for my neighborhood, I was sick of the break-ins, so are the neighbors, the police aren't willing to do anything," Roper said.

James Bryan Roper claims he and his neighbors have experienced several recent car and home break ins in their neighborhood.

So when he thought it was happening again, he and his girlfriend decided to do something about it.

"I saw these kids breaking into the house, you know, I stopped, my girlfriend's the one who got out of the car, my girlfriend's the one who confronted them," Roper said.

But just before noon Friday, Edmond police were surrounding Roper's house, with their weapons drawn, ready to arrest him again.

A judge has issued an arrest warrant for Roper for violating terms of his probation on a 2007 domestic abuse case, all because of Wednesday night's incident.

"I was the one that was assaulted, if I threw a punch I don't know, I was on the ground, what gives them the right to just hit me in the back of the head when I get out of my vehicle," Roper said.

Court papers, though, paint a very different picture of what happened that night. They say all the teens had the same story and claim Roper had passed them in his car and swerved around to drive at them.

It goes on to say Roper caught up to one of the teens and began repeatedly punching him in the face.

News 9: Did you chase down these guys at all?

Roper: No.

News 9: Did you hit these kids at all

Roper: Not that I know of. I mean I was down on the ground getting kicked and punched, so I was trying to protect myself and fend them off.

News 9: So why did police not arrest any of the boys only you?

Roper: I think it's just due to my previous record.

Court papers also state Roper called the teenagers gang bangers, the "n" word, Crips and thugs, and that he lifted up his shirt and pointed to a tattoo of a swastika above his stomach, something Roper denies.

Oklahoma City police arrested Roper at his place of business. He is now in the Oklahoma County jail being held without bond.

Roper spent two years in prison for a burglary, domestic abuse, and assault and battery conviction.

Roper admits to having a swastika tattoo, which he has since had covered, but says this was not a hate crime.