A 23-year-old man and his 18-year-old female companion have been accused of using their car to run two teenage boys off the road because the kids had Trump campaign flags on their bicycles.
Kyren Gregory Perry-Jones and Cailyn Marie Smith were charged Thursday with felonious intimidation and criminal recklessness as well as misdemeanor counts of theft and criminal mischief in the July 22 incident that occurred in the town of Hobart, Indiana, about 40 miles southeast of Chicago.
Smith was arrested and in custody at the Lake County Jail, while Perry-Jones remained at large, Hobart Police spokesman Capt. Jim Gonzales said.
The police took more than seven months to file charges from the July 22 incident because they were waiting for Snapchat to release information about videos that purportedly show Perry-Jones and Smith running the 14-year-old boys off the road.
According to a police affidavit, the male driver asked the boys if they were supporters of President Donald Trump.
The boys said they were.
In the Snapchat footage allegedly posted by the couple, the driver is seen “turning the wheel sharply as if he saw the boys and wanted to hit them with the vehicle while yelling `ya’ll better get home.'”
“The female is then heard saying `ya’ll scared, just like your president” and `America is not great,’” the court record reads.
Smith and Perry-Jones allegedly drove the car through the yards belonging to several residential homes in pursuit of the teens.
At one point, they exited the car and grabbed the flag attached to the bike with a fishing pole, according to court records. The boys then chased after the car and threatened to call police, at which point Perry-Jones threatened to beat them up, court records say.
In the video Perry-Jones, who is black, is heard saying that if police question him about the attack, he would accuse the boys of calling him a racial slur.
Perry-Smith and Smith then dropped the flag, ran over it and sped away. The flag was ripped and torn, the boys said.
“This is an unfortunate event that involved two brothers expressing their support for President Trump,” Gonzales told The Times of Northwest Indiana. “Our residents in Hobart should be able to express their support for any political affiliation without fear of any adverse recourse.
“The Hobart Police Department will continue to serve the Hobart residents to ensure they are free to express their support for whomever they choose and we will tirelessly work to preserve their First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution.”