Mark Alan Bartlett, a 51-year-old white man in Miami, called a group of Black teenagers the N-word and pulled out a gun on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s national holiday. He was originally charged with carrying a concealed firearm but now, after public outcry, he will be charged with a hate crime.
The Ledger reports, he was “charged with three counts of aggravated assault with prejudice and two firearms counts, Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a news release. The charges are brought under a state law allowing enhanced hate-crime penalties when a crime is motivated by prejudice.”
“Sources tell me Dana Scalione and Mark Bartlett are the racist pair in the video. Mark was arrested yesterday but only charged with carrying a concealed weapon. We’re coming for both of them now. There will be accountability. #MarkBarlett was arrested and released for less than $500. He bonded out on a concealed weapons charge. That’s not going to be enough. State Prosecutor @KathyFndzRundle we are going to need some additional charges including hate crime enhancements,” he stated.
Thankfully, the charges were upgraded.
The entire episode on Jan. 21 was caught on a video and showed the teens on bicycles arguing with a woman on the Brickell Avenue Bridge in Miami. In the heated confrontation, the woman in the video claimed one of the boys ran over her foot with his bike.
Bartlett then approached the teens holding a gun in his hand. “F***ing stupid ni**ers,” he’s heard saying on the video.
Dream Defenders Action reportedly posted the video and said the young men were protesting redevelopment of a public housing complex.
Officers caught Bartlett shortly after he drove away from the scene, a police report said. His gun was on his front passenger seat and loaded when they caught up with him.
Bartlett approached the teens with his gun because he saw that his girlfriend was outnumbered, and he feared for her life, he stated to the news outlet. He also denied threatening the teenagers, underscoring that he never pointed the weapon at anyone.
As for him being a racist, Bartlett said that’s just not true.
“The reason why we use that word, the reason why Chinese people use the word, why Japanese people, European people, the reason why everybody uses that word is because Black people use that word,” he said.
Now, that could be a reason why he will serve serious jail time.