A white West Virginia couple has been charged with two hate crimes after authorities say they terrorized two Black people in a matter of minutes. The two are accused of assaulting one African-American man, shooting him in the chest with a paintball gun, and threatening to shoot another person … this time with a real pistol.
Troy and Brandy Pertuset, of Jane Lew, West Virginia, were being held in Central Regional Jail in Braxton County, West Virginia, on a $50,000 bond each, WBOY 12 reports.
On Thursday, Nov. 10, the Weston Police Department received a complaint around 5:30 p.m. stating that there were people inside a car, near a home on Center Avenue in Weston, “yelling racial slurs,” according to a criminal complaint.
The male in the car, later identified as Troy, 36, fired his “paintball gun from the car,” hitting a Black man in the chest with the pellets.
WDTV reports, the victim detailed to police officers the moments that led up to his assault. He said he was outside his house when the Pertuset rolled up to his property. He heard someone from the car yell out, “Where are you, [n—]?”
As the car passed the home, Troy shot the victim, the resident told police. Responding officers state in their reports that they saw a yellow splash on the man’s chest, evidence he was hit by the paintball gun.
Within a 12-minute time period, law enforcement was contacted again regarding the couple. This time, the couple was at a GoMart convenience store and gas station. According to a complaint, this time, Troy brandished a real gun, after his female companion, Brandy, exchanged words with another Black person.
He threatened the man for saying something to his spouse. The WPD stated Brandy, 38, was allegedly hurling racial epithets at the victim before Troy began threatening the man.
“I got a f***ing pistol and I’m going to f***ing shoot you for talking to my wife.”
The victim says, the man continued saying, “‘I’m going to f***ing kill this n*****’.”
Witnesses corroborated the victim’s account, saying Brandy was shouting racial slurs and provoking the victim. Also confirmed that her husband joined her, upping the ante with threats.
It did not take long for the officials to connect incidents and name the couple as the aggressors in both cases. The officers searched the Pertusets’ vehicle and found the paintball gun, with green paintballs, filled with the same yellow paint on the first victim.
According to the Department of Justice, there was a rise in bias-motivated crimes, specifically those that are race and ethnicity-related, hate crimes in West Virginia between 2018 and 2020, the most recent statistic.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke confirmed this statistic in a speech in West Virginia in Sept. 2022, “There is no denying the fact that we face an upsurge in hate crimes in this country. Black Americans, already the most targeted group, were targeted even more frequently during the pandemic.”
“The wages of hate are reflected in our grief for the 10 Black people gunned down in Buffalo, New York,” she continued. “Out of that grief, though, comes renewed determination to confront the real and present danger of white supremacist