Taunton Man Charged With Hate Crime in Fence Incident
A Taunton man faces a hate crime charge after he allegedly pistol-whipped a man who was urinating on a fence outside his home, according to police.
Joseph Amaral, 59, was placed under arrest Thursday night, his guns were confiscated, and he faces numerous charges, including a civil rights violation.
Taunton police were dispatched to a parking lot on Bay Street on Dec. 3 around 10:15 p.m. and spoke with three men, the department said in a statement. One of the men was bleeding from the nose and had a bump on the side of his head.
The men said they had been driving on North Avenue when one of them, a 23-year-old Raynham man, needed to urinate. They stopped the car and the man got out and started urinating against a nearby fence.
The men told police Amaral was pulling his vehicle into the driveway and saw the Raynham man urinating on his fence. When the Raynham man went over to apologize, Amaral allegedly exited his vehicle and pointed a pistol at him. Amaral was "screaming racial and derogatory remarks and obscenities" at the Raynham man telling him to stay off his yard, the statement said. Amaral then twice allegedly struck the victim in the head with pistol, pushed him into the fence, and kneed him.
Amaral then allegedly went over to the vehicle and struck and kicked the car several times, causing damage to the front passenger window, front passenger door, rear passenger door and rear driver's side door. The men drove off and called police.
Police say they spoke to the three men in the parking lot then went to Amaral's home. They say he opened the door and invited them inside. Officers say they observed a black pistol in plain sight on the kitchen counter. Amaral, who police say appeared intoxicated, was placed under arrest and the pistol was seized as evidence.
Police say they conducted a protective sweep of Amaral's home and seized three rifles, two shotguns, a revolver and boxes of ammunition. Amaral's license to carry was seized and was sent to the state for review.
"This type of racism, bigotry and violence will not be accpeted in our community and any acts of racism or violence will be aggressively investigated by our officers," said Police Chief Edward J. Walsh in a statement.
Taunton police said they are aware of a video circulating on social media that describes Amaral as "Taunton's Finest." They said Amaral is not a member of the Taunton Police Department and is not believed to be a member of any law enforcement agency.
Amaral is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, armed assault and battery to intimidate causing bodily injury, being an intoxicated licensee carrying a firearm, vandalizing property, threatening to commit a crime, improper storage of a firearm, and a civil rights violation.
Amaral was expected to be arraigned today in Taunton District Court.