A convenience store clerk was charged with a hate crime after he allegedly yelled racial slurs at four customers, produced a knife and then used it to slash the tires on their car, DuPage County prosecutors said Friday.
Authorities said the incident took place Thursday night at a 7-Eleven store in Lombard and resulted in the arrest of Ranferi Basilio, 32.
About 10:24 p.m., four men, three of whom are black and one of Hispanic descent, entered the store. While the men were in the store, Basilio allegedly began yelling racial slurs at them, authorities said.
As the men left the store, Basilio followed them outside to the parking lot as he continued to yell slurs, prosecutors said. Basilio then pulled out a long-handled knife and the men fled on foot, abandoning their car, according to prosecutors.
The clerk yelled that he was going to slash the tires on the car, which, prosecutors said, he then did. Lombard police were called and took Basilio into custody.
He has been charged with two counts of felony hate crime and misdemeanor counts of aggravated assault and criminal damage to property.
State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Lombard Police Chief Roy Newton issued a joint statement, condemning the alleged hate crime.
“Hate crimes, and the accompanying prejudice that fuels these despicable actions, have no place in our society and will not be tolerated in DuPage County,” Berlin said.
“It is indeed a shame that we continue to see this type of disgusting behavior directed at our fellow human beings,” Newton said.
Bail was set at $50,000 for Basilio. His next court appearance is set for Dec. 4 in front of Judge George Bakalis.