A Mississippi father and son were arrested after chasing two Black teens riding ATVs and shooting at them over the weekend. Two white men, 48-year-old Wade Oscar Twiner and his 22-year-old son Lane Twiner have been charged with aggravated assault after they pursued two Black teenagers riding ATVs in Yazoo County, Mississippi, on Sunday, Sept. 27.
The father and son, “pursued them and tried to stop them and to shoot them and bump them with the four wheeler,” said Yazoo County Sheriff Jacob Sheriff to WBLT news.
Authorities are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. The teens were the only Black people on the road who were assaulted, although it is a common destination for joyrides on ATVs, horses and buggies.
“We’re still looking at some things on that to see if we can establish a hate crime or not. We’ve got to get with the DA and look at the statutes to say whether that would be a hate crime or not,” Sheriff said.
One victim’s mother spoke about her son’s ordeal.
“Not only did they shoot at him, they also ran into the back of his four wheeler, and that could also have been murder right then and there,” she said. Both teens’ identities remain undisclosed.
One of the teens told WBLT that he can still hear the sound of the gunshots when he closes his eyes. He said he had trouble sleeping the night of the incident and could see both men shooting at him at one point, one aiming from the driver’s side window, and the other reaching over the roof from the passenger’s side.
“It was kind of difficult last night since it was the first night it happened, so we just have to take it step by step, day by day to see how it plays out,” the victim’s mother said.
He also noted that he had not been trespassing on the Twiner’s property. The Twiners said that because they pay taxes and own property on both sides of the road they should not have to deal with people riding ATVs on the road.
The Twiners were booked at the Yazoo Regional Correctional Facility, with bonds set at $70,000. They were due to appear in court on Tuesday.