DEEP RIVER, Conn. — The mother of an 11-year-old Deep River boy says she is upset and sad after seeing a video of her son being pushed off his bike Monday.
In the video, Daniel Duncan falls to the ground after being pushed off his bike by 48-year-old Jameson Chapman. The man told Duncan to “get the f*** off your bike.”
Another video from the same day shows the first encounter with the man and the boy who was biking with his friend.
“Where did you grow up? Did you grow up in Connecticut?” Chapman asks Duncan.
After Duncan responded “no,” Chapman is heard telling the sixth-grader to “get the f*** out of my town.”
Duncan told police they were riding their bikes when Chapman bumped into his friend and then began to raise his voice. The first encounter video starts from there.
Chapman was arrested and faces third-degree assault, risk of injury to a child, and second-degree breach of peace charges. He was released from custody on a $10,000 bail. He has a prior 2018 conviction for third-degree assault.
“I watched a couple seconds of the video and I went into total shock,” Duncan’s mom Desiree Dominique said. “I could not contain my anger.”
She said this isn’t the first time their family has experienced this type of behavior since moving to Deep River four years ago.
Her other son was shot with a pellet gun by teens in a car earlier this month, she says. The mom also said the kids are verbally attacked at school.
“I feel very upset. I feel anger. I feel sadness. I feel a sense of powerlessness,” she said.
She said Duncan is afraid to leave the house and she fears this behavior from others will continue.
This comes after a town message board was changed earlier this month to include derogatory terms towards people of color.
Town First Selectman Angus McDonald said this type of behavior is unacceptable and does not reflect the vast majority of Deep River.
“This is something that we all need to address and should start at home,” he said. “It’s horrible. No young person should have to suffer from an older person bullying them anyway and throwing the racism into it, it just muddies the water even more.”
He said he has spoken with Dominique. The town is planning public forums and workshops in the coming weeks to discuss this type of thinking and behavior and see what can be done to prevent it. He said Deep River is a safe place and they want to continue making it a welcoming community.
Dominique said racism is prevalent in the community and thinks progress can be made by, first, acknowledging it exists.
“I would like to see change here. This is a very beautiful, beautiful space,” she said. “If people have issues with prejudice and racism then that’s something that they have to tend to further own growth.”
The mom says she reminds her children they belong in Deep River and are not defined by their bodies.
Chapman is scheduled to appear in a Middletown Superior Court in July.
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