Alleged Taunton Hate Crime From This Past Summer Leads to New Indictment
Bristol County District Attorney’s Office
Thomas M. Quinn III
December 1, 2020
A 34-year-old Brockton man who allegedly entered onto a Taunton couple’s property and violently assaulted one of them in what is alleged to be a hate crime, was indicted by a Bristol County Grand Jury yesterday, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
Michael Cates was indicted by the grand jury on charges of Civil Rights Violation, Assault and Battery to Intimidate with Injury and Aggravated assault and Battery. The case will now be transferred from Taunton District Court to Fall River Superior Court. An arraignment date on the new indictments has yet to be scheduled by the court.
On June 29th the male victim was interviewed by a Taunton Police Officer after he reported being assaulted on his property. During the interview, the victim explained that he and his husband were outside their Taunton home, when the suspect drove by his house in an SUV. The suspect stopped his SUV, exited the vehicle and angrily entered onto the victim’s property. The suspect then, according to the victim, yelled a homosexual slur, and punched the victim twice in the face, causing him to lose two teeth. The suspect then retreated back to his vehicle and drove off. The suspect and the victim are apparently unknown to one another.
An independent witness and the victim’s husband both witnessed the assault occur.
The home had a gay pride flag flying and a rainbow sticker on its mailbox.
An initial investigation conducted by Taunton Police eventually led to the defendant as the chief suspect. After numerous interviews were conducted and surveillance footage was reviewed, Taunton Police officially filed charges against the defendant on July 23rd, and summonsed him into Taunton District Court for arraignment in August. The defendant was found dangerous during a district court dangerousness hearing and has been held without bail ever since.
The case in Superior Court is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Veenstra.
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