A Massachusetts man is accused of trying to run down at least four Latino people in a Walmart parking lot on Black Friday while shouting racial slurs and threats.
Robert J. McCarthy reportedly was ordered to be held without bail during his arraignment in Salem District Court on a dozen charges, including four counts of attempted murder and four counts of assault with intent to intimidate based on race or national origin, according to court documents.
Police say the 56-year-old Lynn resident also threatened to sexually assault a person who was walking with his family through the parking lot.
An officer responded to the Highland Avenue Walmart around 9:45 p.m. on Friday for a report of a male party trying to run over multiple people in the parking lot in an older model car.
When the officer arrived, he noticed a 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis circling the parking lot, and saw many people running away from the car and around the parking lot in general. Dozens of people in the parking lot were also trying to flag down the officer while pointing to the red Mercury.
The Mercury driver pulled into a parking spot and stopped, and as the officer was ordering the driver, later identified as McCarthy, numerous people came up to the officer yelling, "That's him!" and "That's the guy!" and that the driver had said "he was gonna kill all the Spanish people."
McCarthy allegedly told one of the victims more than once that he was going to take the victim home and rape him, and then made explicit gestures.
Witnesses, victims and the people who called 911 told responding officers that they believed McCarthy was trying to run over the victims, according to police.
Atlagracia Sanabia said all she wanted was a good deal on a TV during Black Friday.
"He would just loop around the parking lot and then he would speed really, really fast," she said.
Police say the victims also reported hearing McCarthy call people who appeared to be Latino "vatos," and make references to immigration and deportation, even threatening to come to their homes with "la migra," which is slang for immigration enforcement officers.
One victim "expressed a pronounced fear as well that McCarthy would find her address and attempt to find her after this incident," while another victim "expressed similar sentiments and was visibly shaken and extremely distraught" as the first responding officer interviewed her, according to the police report.
Police say there were other victims, but they refused to give their names to officers, and witnesses indicated that other victims may have left the parking lot before being interviewed.
A Walmart employee also told police that McCarthy had been acting "strangely" inside the store before the incident, speaking in a mix of English and Spanish about immigration and throwing merchandise around the store before being asked to leave.
It's unclear if McCarthy has an attorney. He will appear in court again Monday.