East Feliciana Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a Clinton man who made racial slurs toward a boy and attempted to pull down his pants Saturday at a convenience store, Detective Kevin Garig said.
Ronnie Barnes, a white 54-year-old man, saw a 12-year-old black boy in line at the “Good to Go” convenience store paying for gas, and Barnes asked the boy if he was a girl, at which point Barnes partly pulled down the boy’s shorts, though it is believed he was not exposed, Garig said.
The victim accused Barnes of calling him racial names and making other racist remarks.
The boy’s mother contacted police about 5:40 p.m. Saturday.
“Our officer responded, and the mother met them at the police station,” Garig said.
Barnes was served with a simple battery citation Saturday, and the investigation was turned over to the detective division, which obtained surveillance footage of the incident from the store, located at 9177 La. 67, and spoke to additional witnesses.
“It shows he did try to pull the pants down,” Garig said of the tapes. “They didn’t come down. Also it shows that toward the end of the encounter, he slapped the boy in the back of the head as he walked off.”
Detectives concluded the investigation and arrested Barnes about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“We determined it met the criteria in the law for hate crime,” Garig said.
Barnes was booked into East Feliciana Parish Prison on a misdemeanor-level hate crime.
Follow Danielle Maddox on Twitter, @Dani_Maddox4.