DELAWARE County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer announced that charges have been filed against Brian Setnick, 60, Aston Twp., for ethnic intimidation, making terroristic threats and harassment, Your Content has learned.
The racist man was captured on video making racial slurs and directing threats at individuals participating in a peaceful rally at the intersection of Pennell Road and Concord Road in Aston on Sunday afternoon, May 31, 2020.
“At a time when our communities cry out for tolerance and healing, this defendant chose to use vile and hateful language to threaten peaceful protestors. Because of the great work of the Aston Police Department and the continued bravery of those that raised their voice for equality and refused to be silenced, he will be brought to justice,” said District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.
“This is a very troubling incident. A parent who should be setting an example for his son is, instead, encouraging him to act out on his racist views,” said Chief Dan Ruggieri of the Aston Police Department. “We hope that this prosecution makes clear that this community has no room for such hateful and threatening behavior. I hope that the victims of this crime know that we take these allegations very seriously, and that we will work every day to ensure their safety.”
The investigation was initiated on Tuesday, June 2, when five rally participants came to the Aston Police Department and gave statements to Officer Shane Coyle. In addition to their statements, they provided Officer Coyle with video of the exchanges with the defendant.
The video evidence shows that at approximately 7:00 pm on the day of the rally, a red Jeep Wrangler traveling east bound passed through the site of the rally, the intersection of Pennell Road and Concord Road in Aston commonly known as “five points.” The operator of the vehicle, who was later identified as the defendant, Brian Setnick, was recorded shouting “Niggers”, “You better watch out,” “what’s that nigger?”.
According to witnesses, as a result of his shouting, the defendant nearly caused a collision with another vehicle. The Aston Police Department monitored the rally on May 31 to ensure the safety of all participants, and dashcam video of the rally also captured the encounter between the defendant and the rally participants.
On Wednesday, June 3, two additional witnesses contacted Officer Coyle, and provided him with additional statements as well as video evidence. In the second video, the defendant can be seen looking directly at the witness and stating, “You better watch out nigger.”
All seven witnesses reported feeling personally threatened by the words and actions of the defendant.
The case will be prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Tanner Rouse.
The District Attorney and the Criminal Investigations Division remind anyone in Delaware County who observes suspicious activity call to 911 immediately and provide the most specific and accurate details possible to assist law enforcement agencies investigating the call for service.
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