Judge considers Brockton man accused of apparent hate crime dangerous

SE Mass

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — A judge has ordered that a Brockton man accused of violently assaulting a Taunton resident back in June remain held without bail following a dangerousness hearing Thursday.

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.

“I am very pleased the defendant was held without bail as a danger to the victim and the community, which he clearly is,” Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said. “This is outrageous and malicious conduct. Targeting someone because of their sexual orientation, and violently assaulting them, will not be tolerated.”

Cates has been charged with assault and battery-causing bodily injury and assault and battery to intimidate. He was deemed dangerous by a Taunton District Court judge Thursday and will continue to be held without bail for up to 120 days.

“I was glad to hear this defendant was found dangerous and will not be out on the streets,” Taunton Mayor Shaunna O’Connell said. “The allegations in this case are disturbing, and do not represent the values of the residents of this great city.”

Even though the charges have already been filed, the case remains under investigation.

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