Social media users helped investigators in Louisiana to capture two white men accused of terrorizing a Black woman at a Walmart parking lot in November.
The West Monroe Police Department arrested 22-year-old Dylan Reynolds and Michael Walters, 24, on Thursday night and charged them with a hate crime, the News Star reported.
Reynolds and Walters confronted the woman–calling her the N-word–when she was trying to load items she purchases into her vehicle on Nov. 29, according to the police. The unidentified woman packed her car in a hurry, jumped in her car and drove away while the two men continued yelling racial slurs at her.
When her car slowed down for a speed bump, one of the suspects chased her vehicle on foot while pushing an empty shopping cart. He slammed the cart into the rear of her car, causing more than $1,000 in damages and putting her safety at risk while she tried to escape.
The men jumped into a dark gray Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck and fled, but they were caught on the store’s surveillance cameras.
The arrests came days after the FBI and Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in Washington state launched a hate crimes investigation on Dec. 11 against white supremacists arrested for beating a Black man on Dec. 8, while they were in town to celebrate the so-called “Martyr’s Day,” which commemorates the death of a neo-Nazi.
The investigation involved eight neo-Nazis arrested for assaulting an African-American DJ at a nightclub in Lynnwood.
Martyr’s Day, Dec. 8, commemorates the anniversary of a hateful white man who led a domestic terrorist group called The Order in the mid-1980s. He has become an inspiration for the modern white supremacy movement after he was killed in a shootout with FBI agents in Washington state, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a hate crimes watchdog organization.
In West Monroe, the police launched a manhunt for Reynolds and Walters after they fled the Walmart parking lot. Social media users identified the Dodge truck on Reynolds’ Facebook page and recognized the duo from the surveillance video. Bond for each man was set at $20,000 on the hate crime charge.