OSTEEN, Fla. — A DeLand man has been charged with an unprovoked and racially motivated attack on a group of teenagers, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
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Deputies said Richard Burnham, 58, is facing several charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. His charges have been enhanced as a hate crime.
According to a report, Burnham confronted a group of three teens around 3 p.m. Saturday as they were pumping gas at a Circle K on 320 N. State Route 415 in Osteen.
The teens told deputies that Burnham stopped at the gas station and became hostile and aggressive toward them, including using racial slurs against them.
According to a report, Burnham went inside the gas station and after coming out, he grabbed a pipe from his truck, which he used to smash the passenger side of the vehicle with the teens inside.
A DeLand man is facing enhanced charges in an unprovoked, racially prejudiced attack on a car occupied by three high school students at a gas station in the Osteen area. https://t.co/H5gM5gOM84 pic.twitter.com/tnVtsmwYkY— Volusia Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) January 27, 2022
The teens drove off and were followed by Burnham on S.R. 415 for around two miles before turning away, deputies said.
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After looking at surveillance video from the gas station, deputies were able to identify Burnham as the suspect in the attack, according to a report.
Burnham told deputies that he confronted the teens and threw a pipe at their car because they had “shot him with an airsoft gun and threatened to kill him.”
Deputies said Burnham never contacted law enforcement to report the alleged airsoft gun attack and no evidence of the attack was found.
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Burnham was charged with criminal mischief causing damage of $1,000 or more, and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
Deputies said the charges were enhanced as a hate crime due to Burnham’s use of racial slurs during the unprovoked attack.
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