The owner of a local automobile towing and repair center is being charged with a hate crime after police say he refused to allow a woman and her son access to their car then called them a racial epithet.
Charles Marano, 44, of Catherine Street, owner of Untouchable Towing on North Main Street in Middletown was arrested March 5 for deprivation of rights based on race and breach of peace.
At 3:08 p.m., the report says, a mother and son driving on Liberty Street flagged down an officer after they attempted to pick up their repossessed car from Marano at his towing center. The report says Marano told them they couldn't do so because it was after 2 p.m., and when questioned by the mother and son, allegedly said, "get the [expletive] off my property" and called them a racial slur.
Marano told officers he did ask them to leave but never insulted their race. The report says that Marano's wife and two employees denied he had called them a racial epithet, but when told by police the conversation was recorded on a cell phone, eventually did admit it.
He's due back in court on March 19.