Brockton Man Indicted in Alleged Taunton Hate Crime
A 34-year-old Brockton man who allegedly entered a gay couple's property in Taunton and launched a violent assault has been indicted by a Bristol County grand jury.
Michael Cates was indicted for a civil rights violation, assault and battery to intimidate with injury, and aggravated assault and battery, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today. The case will now be transferred from Taunton District Court to Fall River Superior Court. An arraignment date on the new charges has yet to be scheduled.
On June 29, a man was interviewed by Taunton police after he reported being assaulted on his property. The victim explained that he and his husband were outside their home when a man they did not know drove by in an SUV. The suspect stopped, exited the vehicle, entered the victim's property, yelled a homosexual slur, and punched the victim twice in the face, causing him to lose two teeth, Quinn's office said. The suspect then drove off.
An independent witness and the victim's husband both witnessed the alleged assault. The home had a gay pride flag flying and a rainbow sticker on its mailbox.
Police filed initial charges against Cates on July 23. He was arraigned at Taunton District Court in August, found dangerous during a district court hearing, and has been held without bail ever since.
The case in Superior Court is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jeanne Veenstra.