Richard Burnham: DeLand man smashes car of 3 Black school kids in unprovoked hate crime
Richard Burnham has been accused of a 'hate crime' after he yelled racial slurs during his rage-filled rampage against three Black high school kids
DELAND, FLORIDA: Richard Burnham, 58, has been accused of criminal mischief after inflicting $1,000 or more in damage, as well as three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm without intent to kill. Authorities claim the Florida man yelled racist insults in an unprovoked attack against three Black high school kids. A $40,000 bail amount was imposed and he was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail. Due to Burnham's use of racial insults, the charges were upgraded to a hate crime, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
Florida's hate crime law classifies “hate crime” as a crime motivated by prejudice based on race, color, or ethnicity, among other factors. Burnham approached the teenagers as they were getting petrol at Circle K on Saturday (January 22) afternoon. According to witnesses, the guy got angry and began using racist insults to the victims who were inside their grey Toyota Camry. After the teenagers told Burnham to “go away,” Burnham allegedly walked into the gas station, purchased a case of beer, then went to his Dodge Ram parked on the other side of the gas station and then again reappeared, grabbed a pipe from his truck, and began smashing the side of their car according to the victims.
Authorities said the front passenger glass was broken and the passenger door panels were damaged. The victims in their 911 call said Burnham followed them for roughly two miles before turning around. They gave a thorough description of the suspect, including the truck he was driving and his trailer.
Surveillance footage from inside the shop revealed a man matching the description buying a case of beer around the time of the incident, according to deputies. Burnham, whose photo and registration car matched their specifications, was identified as a potential suspect in a follow-up inquiry, WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando reports.
A DeLand man is facing enhanced charges in an unprovoked, racially prejudiced attack on a car occupied by three high school students at a gas station in the Osteen area. https://t.co/H5gM5gOM84 pic.twitter.com/tnVtsmwYkY— Volusia Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) January 27, 2022
Burnham said he was at the petrol station at the time and was involved in a verbal confrontation with the victims. The kids tried to shoot him with an airsoft pistol and threatened to murder him, according to Burnham, prompting him to hurl a pipe at their car. Burnham's description of the encounter included inconsistencies, according to deputies. Burnham also never contacted police enforcement to report the incident. The victims did not have an airsoft gun, according to deputies on the site.