A Texas man vacationing in Florida has been accused of verbally and physically assaulting an Asian family in Okaloosa Island on the Florida panhandle, reports ABC News. Police arrested 54-year-old Wade Anton and charged him with a hate crime.
The incident occurred on Thursday, June 10th around 4:15 pm on Okaloosa Island. Anton allegedly told Okaloosa authorities the incident started after he told the Asian family’s children to stop petting his dogs which went ignored.
The situation escalated and Anton allegedly told the mother and her children “go back to where they came from” and made a racial slur against them.
According to the husband, his family and Anton were separated around 25 feet during the argument. However, Anton allegedly ran around the park railings and began punching him. Meanwhile, the husband pulled a gun when he saw Anton charging.
“The woman’s husband says they were all initially separated by about 25 feet during the verbal argument, but Anton ran around the park railings and began punching him repeatedly,” Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement on social media. “He told deputies as Anton was running towards him, he pulled a handgun to protect himself.”
Witnesses at the scene separated the two men and no one was hurt.
Wade Anton was arrested and charged with a hate crime-related battery. His bail has been set at $10,000.