Louisiana man charged with hate crime for allegedly attempting to run over interracial couple

James Descant, 50, is charged with a hate crime after allegedly attempting to run over an interracial couple last week. (Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office)

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. - A Lousiana man was arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly attempted to run over an interracial couple with his truck last week.

James Descant, 50, is charged with aggravated second degree battery, aggravated assault, hate crimes and simple criminal damage to property, officials said.

According to investigators, the incident occurred April 16 about 9 p.m. after the couple, a 32-year-old black man and a 31-year-old white woman, saw Descant while walking to a convenience store. 

The couple was reportedly standing outside the store when Descant drove at them and swerved his truck in an attempt to run them over. The man managed to jump out of the way, but his girlfriend was struck, police said.

The woman was taken to a hospital and treated for injuries to her right hip, right wrist and left foot.

The male victim told deputies that he and his girlfriend did nothing to provoke Descant. He said Descant had threatened to kill him earlier in the week and used a racial slur to describe his relationship.

Deputies told WVUE that Descant has a "disdain" toward interracial relationships.

Descant was arrested early April 17 and booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center. He was being held on $101,000 bond for the incident, but also being held without bond on an unrelated fugitive charge, officials said.

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