ARLINGTON (CBS) – A Somerville man is accused of a hate crime after a “disturbing” altercation inside a Verizon Wireless store in Arlington, police said.
Andrew Robert DeCarlo, 36, was charged with assault with intent to intimidate as a hate crime.
“It’s a terrible situation,” said Arlington Police Capt. Richard Flynn.
DeCarlo, who is known to police, was released on personal recognizance following his arraignment Wednesday in Cambridge District Court. DeCarlo, who hid behind a wall during his arraignment, was ordered to stay away from the alleged victim and the Verizon Wireless store. He is due back in court on Nov. 6.
Police officers responded to the Verizon Wireless on Massachusetts Avenue to investigate a disturbance at 8 p.m. Tuesday. When officers arrived, they spoke with a store clerk who said that a man had entered the store and asked the clerk to fix his cell phone.
The employee told police he asked the man if the phone had a Verizon Wireless subscription, and the man stated that it did not.
The employee told the man that he could not help him because he was only allowed to handle or repair Verizon phones. The employee tried to direct the man to another store for further assistance, but the man allegedly became irate and started shouting racial and anti-immigrant epithets at the clerk.
“It was also at this time that the suspect made a move around a counter, and while he was doing that, he did so in a menacing manner. His fists were clenched, he was grinding his teeth, he was sweating,” Flynn said. The clerk told police he feared for his safety.
Police, who caught up with DeCarlo and arrested him nearby, said he admitted to nearly everything. DeCarlo continued his behavior in front of the clerk, stating “We… are proud members of the Aryan Brotherhood. He should go back to his own country,” according to police.
In a statement, Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan said hate has no place in the community.
“The hard-working men and women of Arlington deserve to earn a living free of harassment and hatred,” Ryan said. “Nothing gives an individual the right to put another person in fear for their safety, and I am very proud of the professionalism of our officers to find this individual. I would also point out the resiliency and bravery of the store employee in this case to report this incident for what it was: a hate crime.”