DA: Brockton man charged with assault in apparent hate crime

SE Mass

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A Brockton man accused of violently assaulting a Taunton resident in what appears to be a hate crime has been charged with assault and battery, according to the Bristol County District Attorney’s office.

Prosecutors allege Michael Cates, 34, assaulted the man while he and his husband were outside their home in late June.

Cates was driving by their home at the time when he saw the couple, the DA’s office said.

Witnesses told officers that Cates stopped his vehicle, got out and yelled a homosexual slur at the men before punching one of them twice in the face.

Prosecutors allege Cates punched the man so hard, he lost two teeth.

The DA’s office believes the couple may have been targeted because they had a gay pride flag flying outside their home and a rainbow sticker on their mailbox.

Cates is charged with assault and battery-causing bodily injury and assault and battery to intimidate.

He was arraigned Friday and ordered held without bail pending the results of an upcoming dangerousness hearing.

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