Man Charged With Hate Crime After Cell Phone Store Altercation in Arlington

A Massachusetts man faced a judge on Wednesday in connection with an alleged hate crime incident and altercation at a cell phone store in Arlington.

Andrew Robert DeCarlo, 36, of Somerville, was charged with assault with intent to intimidate as a hate crime in Cambridge District Court.

Arlington Police said officers were called to the Verizon Wireless store on Massachusetts Avenue around 8 p.m. Tuesday for a disturbance.

When they arrived, a Verizon clerk told police a man, later identified as DeCarlo, had entered the store and asked the clerk to fix his cell phone.

When asked if he had Verizon service, DeCarlo said he did not. The clerk told him he could not help because he was only allowed to handle and repair Verizon phones.

At that point, DeCarlo became irate and began shouting racial and anti-immigrant epithets at the clerk while making threatening movements towards him, according to police.

DeCarlo, who is known to police, left the store but was arrested shortly after the incident.

"Whether you live or work in this community, you have the right to do so without being placed into fear," Arlington Police Capt. Richard Flynn said. "This was clearly a situation where this man, because of his ethnic background, was placed in fear and there’s really no place for that."

DeCarlo will appear in Somerville District Court Thursday for violating probation in an unrelated case.

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