Man arrested for possible hate crime against Edmond teens

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EDMOND, Okla. -- Becky Winn was outside watering her plants Wednesday night when the violence unfolded before her eyes.

Winn said, "What are you up to, what's going on? They pointed to a guy in the car who was chasing them and I thought they said he had a gun."

Winn said four freightened black teenagers approached her for help. 

They claimed James Roper, a neighbor of hers and convicted felon, was trying to run them down in his car.

When Roper couldn't catch them in the car, he allegedly jumped out, chased them and began screaming. 

Winn said one of the children tried to jump a backyard fence to get away.

"They seemed to fear for their lives. One jumped that fence toward me and the others scattered. He said he didn't want them out here. He didn't want any of that in our neighborhood," Winn said. 

Roper has multiple tattoos, including a swastika on his abdomen.

Edmond police aren't saying much more about the suspect but sources tell us this is being investigated as a hate crime.

Edmond Police spokesperson Jenny Monroe said, "I can confirm we did have an incident, that our officers responded to that area and we are currently working with the D.A. for whatever charges they find appropriate in this case." 

James Roper has a lengthy criminal past, including convictions for domestic abuse, assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and burglary.

Now he's back behind bars facing another round of felony charges.

He's being held on a $4,000 bond. 

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