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Police: 3 Charged With Hate Crimes In Ramapo Paintball Attack

Official: Suspects Admitted Intent Was To Attack Hasidic Jews
Welts from Ramapo paintball attack (credit: Joseph Gestetner/handout)

Welts from Ramapo paintball attack (credit: Joseph Gestetner/handout)

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MONSEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Ramapo police have charged three people with hate crimes after a Hasidic Jewish man was hit with paintballs fired from a passing car.

Police say Shashi Ramsaroop, Lindsey Peaks and Demetrius Latrell Torain were arrested on assault, aggravated harassment, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal tampering charges.

As WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman reported, Ramsaroop, 23, was shoeless and wearing a shredded white t-shirt before court officials had him cover up with a polo shirt.

During the court proceedings, Ramsaroop was defiant, shaking his head as the judge read the hate crime charges out loud, Silverman reported. But Torain had tears streaming down his face as the judge set his bail at $25,000.

According to Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, Ramsaroop, his fiancée and Torain, 19, allegedly drove up to a pair of Hasidic men, who saw the gun pointed at them.

“Just prior to shooting, they yelled ‘expletive Jews,’” St. Lawrence said. “There is no tolerance for anyone to attack anyone in our community.”

Shashi Ramsaroop (L) in Ramapo Town Court on a hate crime charge, August 8, 2013. (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

Shashi Ramsaroop (L) in Ramapo Town Court on a hate crime charge, August 8, 2013. (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

The paintballs left a pair of red welts on one man’s stomach. The victim then radioed his colleagues in a community patrol, authorities said.

“And they did help the Ramapo Police Department in apprehending these suspects,” Police Chief Peter Brower said.

Around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, Ramapo town police said the victim and a friend were leaning against the friend’s vehicle in the Hasidic community of Kaser when a car pulled up to them.

They told police a man fired at them from the front passenger seat of the passing car. The victim was hit at least twice in the abdomen with paintballs and suffered a minor injury.

St. Lawrence said the suspects admitted it was their intent to go to Monsey and shoot Jews.

“Our detectives interviewed these individuals and it became very clear that their intention was to perform a hate crime against members of the Jewish community,” he said.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)