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Brothers Charged in Racially Motivated Attack in Pizza Shop Parking Lot

The victim was attacked while walking through the parking lot of a pizza shop in Dracut

Two brothers from New Hampshire have been charged with a racially motivated attack on a man in the parking lot of a Massachusetts pizza shop earlier this year.

Jeremy Stephenson, 36, of Plaistow, and James Stephenson, 39, of Salem, were released on personal recognizance following their arraignments this week in Middlesex Superior Court in connection with the late September attack, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Dracut police Chief Peter Bartlett said in a joint statement Wednesday.

The 22-year-old victim had just left a 7-Eleven on Sept. 27 when the brothers were pulling into the Dracut parking lot, authorities said.

Authorities said after Jeremy Stephenson parked the car, the brothers got out and immediately began to verbally and then physically assault the victim in front of Palace Pizza.

The brothers then allegedly yelled racial slurs and pushed the victim through a plate glass window, officials said. The victim used a shard of glass to stab Jeremy Stephenson in self-defense, they said.

After Jeremy Stephenson was stabbed and fled the scene, authorities said James Stephenson continued to tackle the victim and assault him while calling him racial slurs.

The brothers have both been charged with constitutional rights violations and assault and battery to intimidate with bodily injury. Jeremy Stephenson has also been charged with three counts of perjury. James Stephenson faces an additional charge of wanton destruction of property.

After their court appearance, the brothers were released on personal recognizance and ordered to stay away from the victim. They are due back in Lowell Superior Court on Dec. 19.

It was not immediately clear who their attorneys are.

Associated Press/NBC10 Boston
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