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A 36-year-old Somerville man faces a hate-crime charge after he allegedly shouted anti-immigrant epithets at an employee of an Arlington cellular phone store.

Andrew Robert DeCarlo was arrested in Arlington on Tuesday, Sept. 18, after the incident, which police describe as a hate crime.

At 8 p.m., Arlington police were called a Verizon Wireless retail location on Mass. Ave. to investigate a disturbance, a police news release says.

On arrival, officers were met by a clerk who told police that a man had entered the store and asked the clerk to fix his cell phone. The employee asked the man if the phone had a Verizon Wireless subscription, and the man stated that it did not.

The employee told the man that he could not help him, because he was only allowed to handle or repair Verizon phones. The employee tried to direct the man to another store for further assistance, but the man allegedly became irate and started shouting racial and anti-immigrant epithets at the clerk.

Police said the clerk described the customer as continuing to swear, using racist language and was sweating, grinding his teeth and clinching his fists. The suspect then moved around the corner of the storefront counter and began moving toward employee in a menacing manner, the release says, causing the clerk to fear for his safety.

With a description of the suspect in hand, officers began to search the area for the assailant. A short time later, DeCarlo was found and arrested after an on-scene investigation.

"The hard-working men and women of Arlington deserve to earn a living free of harassment and hatred," Chief Fred Ryan said in the release. "Nothing gives an individual the right to put another person in fear for their safety, and I am very proud of the professionalism of our officers to find this individual. I would also point out the resiliency and bravery of the store employee in this case to report this incident for what it was: a hate crime."

DeCarlo is known to police. He is being held, pending arraignment in Cambridge District Court on Wednesday, Sept. 19, on a charge of assault with intent to intimidate, as a hate crime under M.G.L c. 265, § 39. 


This news announcement was published Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018.