Man arrested after attempting to strike interracial couple with vehicle

50-year-old James Descant of Metairie is accused of attempting to hit an interracial couple...
50-year-old James Descant of Metairie is accused of attempting to hit an interracial couple with his truck. (Source: JPSO)
Updated: Apr. 20, 2019 at 6:00 PM EDT
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JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office says a man has been arrested and booked with a hate crime after he attempted to strike an interracial couple with his truck Tuesday.

According to JPSO, the couple was walking to Birdies service station in the 3700 block of Airline Dr. when they saw the suspect, 50-year-old James Descant of Metairie. The couple says they had a previous run-in with Descant.

The 32-year-old male victim told police that Decant threatened to kill him earlier in the week because he is black and his 31-year-old girlfriend is white. Deputies say Descant, who has a “disdain” for interracial couples, also used a racial slur against the couple to describe the relationship.

Deputies say while the couple stood outside of the service station around 9 p.m., Descant allegedly swerved his truck in an attempt to strike the couple. The man managed to jump out of the way but the female was struck.

The female victim suffered injuries to her right hip, right wrist and left foot. She was taken to Ochsner Medical Center for treatment.

The male victim told deputies he and his girlfriend did nothing to provoke Descant and believe he attempted to run them over because of his hatred towards their relationship.

Descant was later arrested around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at a Metairie motel. He was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center for aggravated second degree battery, aggravated assault, hate crimes and simple criminal damage to property. He was also booked as a fugitive from Kenner Police.

JPSO says Descant is being held on $101,000 bond for the incident but is also being held without bond for the fugitive charge.

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