Louisiana Man Charged With Hate Crime After Pulling Down Child's Pants

Louisiana Man Charged With Hate Crime After Pulling Down Child's Pants

Robert Barnes cornered a 12-year-old boy in a convenience store.

Published July 30, 2015

Ronnie Barnes, 54, was arrested after allegedly pulling down the pants of a 12-year-old boy and calling him the N-word. The incident occurred on July 25 inside the Good to Go convenience store of an Exxon gas station, according to NewsOne.

“The sheriff takes race issues very seriously, and if someone you know commits a crime against someone because of their color, because of their sexual orientation, because of any reason, then we are going to do our best to fully investigate it,” Detective Kevin Garig said.

According to local authorities, Barnes, who lives in Clinton, La., continuously questioned the young boy about his gender, inquiring if he "was a girl." As he continued to question the child, Barnes tugged on the child’s pants, causing them to fall about four or five inches. Surveillance video has also revealed Barnes used his body to force the child into a shelf. Shortly after, he hits the minor in the back of the head.

"I was hurt that something like this would happen to my child. He's only 12 years old," the child’s mother said. “I haven’t slept since. My son hasn’t been sleeping either. It makes me afraid for all the Black children in the community."

Barnes’s bond has been set at $10,000 as he awaits trial. If he is convicted, he could spend up to six months in jail.

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(Photo: West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office)

Written by Isabelle Thenor-Louis

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