Springfield (KMTR) – A fifth person has been arrested in an apparent hate crime.
Brandon James Ricker, 19, was arrested Tuesday by Springfield Police in connection with the case.
A 15-year-old boy, who is black, said he was the target of intimidation by a group of people in a pickup on Memorial Day. He said four suspects were riding around in a pickup, yelling racial slurs at him, and then tried running him down in a parking lot near 5th and South “A” Streets. When the boy tried to get away, he said the suspects got out of the truck, which was flying a Confederate flag, and chased him. He managed to hide until his mother got there.
Springfield police initially arrested Matthew Booster, 22, and three teenagers who were with him for intimidating the 15-year-old. Investigators say the group admitted doing it because the boy is black.
Investigators later talked with Ricker, who is acquainted with Booster and possibly others who were arrested in the Memorial Day incident. As they interviewed Ricker police told him not to have any contact with Booster. But investigators say, contrary to their orders, Ricker did contact Booster and later erased text messages sent between them.
Ricker faces charges of hindering prosecution, attempted intimidation in the first degree and tampering with physical evidence.