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Oregon Man Who Threatened 14-Year-Old Black Boy on Bike Must Attend Anger Management, Write Apology Letter Instead of Jail

A white man who threatened to kill a Black teen who rode a bike near his house in a Portland, Oregon, suburb received probation.

Michael James Black, 65, was sentenced to three years of probation on Thursday, according to The Oregonian.

Michael James Black, 65, was sentenced to three years of probation on Thursday for threatening to kill a 14-year-old boy. (Photo: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

Last May, a 14-year-old Black boy rode past Black’s Gresham, Oregon, home on his bike, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. The boy had outpaced friends he was traveling with and rode around what he thought was a public cul-de-sac while waiting for them to catch up. Black, who was sitting in a lawn chair, yelled at the boy for trespassing and used a racial slur.

When the kid ignored him, he threatened to use deadly force.

“I’ll blow your head off,” he reportedly yelled. When Black went inside his home, the boy fled because he was afraid Black would come back with a gun. The cul-de-sac had two “no trespassing” signs posted, but they were not visible from the road, police reported.

When the police arrived, Black told them the boy walked onto his property and started an argument, reported Pamplin Media last year. The teen rebutted this account and told the officers he never got off his bike.

Black was later charged with menacing and second-degree intimidation, which is considered a hate crime. He went on trial in February, when he apologized after the teen’s mother explained how the incident affected them.

In addition to the probation, he is also required to attend an anger management or diversity-sensitivity course, write an apology letter to the victim and complete 150 hours of community service. Black is also barred from owning firearms.

“This crime occurred because of the prejudicial and racist assumptions Mr. Black made because of the victim’s race,” said Deputy District Attorney AJ Park.

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