The incident took place Sunday night on Judkins Road in Yazoo County, Mississippi, a road used regularly by joyriders on ATVs, horses, and buggies. Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime as the two Black teenagers were the only non-Whites on that road and the only people on an ATV who were assaulted.
“Wade Oscar Twiner and his son Lane Twiner pursued them and tried to stop them and to shoot them and bump them with the four-wheeler, so they were charged with aggravated assault,” said Sheriff Jacob Sheriff.
As there was no one else on an ATV that was assaulted that day, the sheriff said that could be a significant factor in the possible hate crime charges.
“We’re still looking at some things on that to see if we can establish a hate crime or not. We’ve got to get with the DA and look at the statutes to say whether that would be a hate crime or not,” he said.
Sheriff Sheriff said the two White men told deputies they own land on both sides of the road and pay taxes. According to the pair, they shouldn’t have to deal with people riding ATVs on the road since that’s against the law.
But, as one of the victims stated, that reaction might make sense to him if they had been trespassing–and not on the road and not in the vicinity of the Twiners’ residence.
The assault victims weren’t identified but they are related. One of the relatives of the victim said, “It was kind of difficult last night since it was the first night it happened, so we just have to take it step by step, day by day to see how it plays out.”