Two Arrested After Alleged Racist Incident in Manchester

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Police are investigating after two men allegedly yelled racial slurs at three Black teenagers riding their bikes down Main Street in Manchester.

The incident occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sunday in the area of 364 Main St.

Police said they received a call about a car that tried to hit a bicyclist.

When officers arrived at the scene, they said they found three teenage boys that reported they were run off the road by a car in the area of Main Street and Middle Turnpike East. One of the boys told police they were almost hit by the car.

The teenagers also told police that one of the men in the car who allegedly yelled racial slurs at them got out of the car and ran after the boys.

Christina Torres fought back tears while explaining what happened to her 13-year-old Nasir White and two of his friends.

"These are children and something needs to be done because they should not have to fear for their life," said Torres. "They should not have to fear for their life and my son was in a bush fearing for his life and we need justice."

According to Torres, the three teenagers were on their way to a gas station when they were called the "n-word." The trio says they ran down the street, hid in a bush and called 9-1-1.

"My son was coming down the street and these two men started chasing them," said Torres. "When they came out these guys attacked them again chased them up the street, attempted to run another one of them off the road with his car."

"There's no doubt in my mind that if they got their hands on one of these little boys, they were going to hurt them," said Torres. "We have to stand together because this could've been very different, I could have woke up on Sunday morning hearing that my child died."

Two men are under arrest, accused of using racial slurs and intimidating three Black teenagers.

"I've always told my son that you have to work 10 times harder because of the color of his skin and it pains me to tell him that but it's the truth," Torres continued. "We need justice and we need to work to ensure incidents like this don't happen to another group of black boys."

Officers said they immediately began their investigation and the car involved was found in a driveway on Main Street. Police said they knocked on the door of the home on Main Street but they weren't able to get in contact with the suspects.

Police said after interviews were conducted, they were able to obtain arrest warrants for 27-year-old Matthew Lemelin and 28-year-old Michael Lemelin.

A woman who identified herself as the fiancee of Michael Lemelin reached out to NBC Connecticut saying he is "an upstanding citizen and not a racist."

"We support Black Lives Matter," said Samantha Bartone.

Bartone went on to say that she and her young daughter fear for their lives due to social media threats. Police say they are investigating.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

Both men were arrested and face charges including risk of injury to a minor, second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.

Matthew also faces charges for second-degree intimidation based on bigotry and bias.

Both men were held on a $150,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 18.

Rally Held in Manchester Monday Night

Dozens of people gathered in Manchester, raising their voices and signs, angered over what happened in town over the weekend.

A local business brought three new bikes for the teens involved in the incident, who were not in attendance.

An organizer of the event said the victims are traumatized by what happened.

"We are coming here together to say that if this should happen again in this community, we're going to find you, we're going to make sure the police hold you accountable. We're going to hold the police accountable," Power Up Manchester Founder Keren Prescott said.

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