A Massachusetts man is facing a number of charges after police say he assaulted two children and yelled racial slurs at several others Wednesday morning at a Salem bus stop.
Scott Deharo, 45, was arraigned Wednesday in Salem District Court on two counts of assault and battery on child, two counts of assault and battery with intent to intimidate, three counts of assault with intent to intimidate, assault, and disorderly conduct. He was ordered held without bail but appeared back in court Thursday to be assigned an attorney.
Deharo was arrested in the parking lot of the Loring Towers complex. Police said they first responded to the complex at about 4 a.m. where they found him causing a disturbance by banging on doors and yelling.
At about 6:30 a.m., police were called again when Deharo allegedly went down to the school bus stop and confronted a group of children and parents.
Nine-year-old Julian Tyler was one of the children targeted. He said he and his mother Carmen Fonseca were yelled at ,while one child was punched in the face and other pushed.
"My kid is pretty sheltered. We don't talk that kind of language. We don't even say the 'N word,'" said Fonseca. "To hear those words for the first time in such a negative way is traumatizing."
Tyler feels the incident has compromised his sense of security.
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"Looking at another kid getting hurt... I didn't want to get hurt," he said.
While Deharo's motive remains unclear, Fonseco is now left to explain to her son why he was attacked.
"He has never even heard what that guy was saying. He's never even heard that language before. He was so confused," she said. "He didn't realize all this was happening because of the color of our skin."
Deharo is due back in court Monday.