Afive-year-old was offered counseling after a man urinated on her in Michigan on Wednesday (Aug. 22), police said. He is facing charges for the incident that was made even worse when he also referred to the child, who is Black, using a racial slur.
The man’s name wasn’t released, but he was described as being around 60 years old, The Associated Press reported. Grand Rapids police arrested him after they responded to the event that happened in an alley in western Michigan. Parents of the young girl, who was not identified by name, called the police about 20 minutes after the incident.
Another five-year-old and two seven-year-old children witnessed the crime, police said. No injuries were reported at the scene.
Police conducted a neighborhood search before finding the suspect, they said. Cops took the man, who had left the scene, into custody after he had arrived at his home.
He is being held in Kent County jail pending a decision on charges by prosecutors. There is no word yet if hate crime charges will be filed once the investigation is completed. Hate crimes have been on the rise in Michigan, with the state having the fourth-highest number of reports among all U.S. states for 2016, according to an FBI report released last November, the Detroit Free Press reported. Reported hate crimes spiked 29.1 percent from 309 to 399 that year, officials said.
The high number of reported hate crimes in Michigan, which has about 9.9 million residents, has alarmed state officials and civil rights advocates, the Detroit Press reported. The actual number of hate crimes may be even larger than the reported total because some law enforcement agencies may not report the crimes to the FBI, advocates said.
The children who witnessed the Grand Rapids event on Wednesday have also been offered counseling, according to police.