Texas man arrested for hate crime while vacationing on Okaloosa Island

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OKALOOSA ISLAND, Fla. (WKRG) — A man visiting from Texas was arrested for an alleged hate crime in Okaloosa County.

Deputies say beachgoers witnessed 54-year-old Wade Anton in an argument with an Asian family at the park. Anton reportedly told the family to “go back where they came from” and made racial slurs.

The family told the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) that Anton went around the park railing and started punching one man in the face. The man tells OCSO he pulled a gun to protect himself and the scene de-escalated.

Anton told deputies the argument stemmed from the woman’s children petting his dogs and ignored him when he asked them to stop.

Anton is charged with hate-crime related battery.

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