AFRICANGLOBE – Indiana man was charged with a hate crime and aggravated discharge of a weapon following an incident in Flossmoor’s downtown business district Aug. 22, according to Police Chief Michael Pulec.
Bryan Oedzes, 44, of the 1200 block of Killarney, Dyer, Ind., was arrested and subsequently charged Aug. 30 after investigators interviewed witnesses and collected evidence, including a spent shell casing and a firearm, Pulec said in a press release.
According to police, the victim was walking in the downtown area during the late evening hours when a man yelled a racial slur at him. The victim walked toward the man, later reportedly identified as Oedzes, who pointed a gun at him.
As he put his hands in the air and started walking away, Oedzes allegedly fired a shot in the direction of the victim, who was unharmed and ran away, police said.
“Our officers take hate crimes very seriously, and their response was fast and decisive,” Pulec said in the release. “The Flossmoor Police Department will not tolerate acts of violence against individuals based along the lines of race, religion, gender, or any other identity and violate the basic values of our community.”
Mayor Paul Braun said he was “shocked and very saddened” to learn of the incident.
“Flossmoor has always been and always will be an inclusive community that values the diversity of its residents and businesses. This event is not a reflection of our community,” he said in the release.
While this alleged crime is a “concern,” Braun said, “Flossmoor continues to have a low crime rate and is a safe community.”
He credited the “swift actions of the Flossmoor Police Department and cooperative witnesses,” in concluding the investigation.
By: Susan DeMar Lafferty