Racially Motivated Assault
Two men were arrested and charged in a racially motivated assault outside 790 Congress Street in the West End. Thirty-five-year-old Charles Bean Jr. and 30-year-old Benjamin Bean, both of New Gloucester, were arrested April 19th at about 5 p.m.
Officers were flagged down and told of a fight in an alley and found the two men, who are brothers, assaulting 33-year-old Antonio Byars.
Initial investigation indicated that Charles and Benjamin Bean were fighting with a third man when a small group gathered. Mr. Byars was among that group and was singled out by the Beans, who asked what he was looking at and used racial slurs while threatening to kill him.
Mr. Byars, who is black, was then attacked by both Charles and Benjamin Bean, who are white. Mr. Byars suffered facial injuries as well as scrapes and bruises on both arms. He was treated and released from a local hospital.
Byars was the only black person present in the group of by-standers and appears to have been singled out by the perpetrators. Police have spoken with several witnesses who were present and yelling for the men to stop the attack.
Charles Bean is charged with assault and interference with constitutional and civil rights, and an unrelated charge of assault based on an arrest warrant having been issued.
Benjamin Bean is charged with assault, interference with constitutional and civil rights, and violation of conditional release. He had previously been released on bail for an unrelated charge.
Assault and interference with constitutional and civil rights are both are class D crimes. Each is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $2000.00.
The case is being referred to the Cumberland County District Attorney and the Maine Attorney General Civil Rights Unit.
Portland Police arrested a resident of Delaware Court in North Deering and charged him with entering the home of a neighbor and assaulting her with a knife. Forty-seven-year-old Charles Carswell of 165 Delaware Court was arrested April 20th around noon.
The victim, who has asked not to be identified, said she was home alone watching television when she noticed Carswell standing over her and armed with a knife. She recognized him as living in the neighborhood. Carswell threatened her and they struggled. The victim was cut on her hand, but she was able to flee her home.
Carswell was found at his residence and arrested. He is charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, assault and burglary. He is currently being held at the Cumberland County Jail and scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow.