Race Harassment Charge Dropped In Md. Assault Case

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Frederick County prosecutors say they aren’t pursuing a racial harassment charge in an assault case, despite the defendant’s use of racial slurs, because the attack wasn’t racially motivated.

State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith said Wednesday that his office didn’t include the harassment charge in its presentment to a grand jury last week.

The grand jury indicted Steven Heyden, 20, of Frederick on charges of first- and second-degree assault, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment.

Heyden, who is white, was charged with racial harassment by Frederick County sheriff’s deputies investigating a reported assault on a black man Feb. 28. They alleged that Heyden stopped the man’s car and pointed a gun at him while using racial slurs.

Smith says the evidence didn’t show that race was the underlying motivation for the crime.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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