Two accused of hate crimes in separate Baton Rouge incidents this week _lowres

Justin Stament, left, and Timothy Ricks

Two men were arrested this week in Baton Rouge, accused of hate crimes involving verbal and physical fights.

Justin Joseph Stament, 27, of 818 Clayton Drive in Norco, is accused of “causing a scene” in a College Drive Valero Gas Station shop Wednesday, throwing merchandise and telling a store employee to “go back to the country you came from” after he was told to stop using the business’ phone, according to a court document.

Stament was apparently kicked out of the store, then got into his vehicle and drove it toward a shop employee before hitting a pole. The employee told authorities he “felt an immediate threat to his own life and felt that death and/or serious injury was imminent and that the only thing that prevented death/serious injury was the pole that stopped the vehicle,” the affidavit says.

The accused then threw a tire jack at the store’s front window, shattering it, the document states. Stament, who faces counts of attempted first-degree murder, hate crimes, simple battery, aggravated damage to property, criminal mischief and public intimidation, is also accused of telling police he “knew several judges” and that the officers “would not have jobs any longer.” He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. Bail information was not immediately available.

And on Sunday, Timothy Ricks, 36, of 260 Sharp Road in Baton Rouge, started a verbal fight with a couple in a parking lot at Ricks’ address and repeatedly addressed the two people, who are black, with a racial epithet, according to an affidavit. The altercation apparently became physical with Ricks eventually following one of the people to the man’s residence and trying to enter.

Ricks, who faces counts of hate crimes along with criminal trespassing, simple battery and disturbing the peace, is being held in lieu of $66,000 bail at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.