Police: Man in Va. charged with hate crime after assault on road

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia have charged a white man with a hate crime after, they say, he intentionally struck a black woman’s car and pulled her from her vehicle.

Chesterfield County police say Matthew Ellis, 27, began shouting at the driver last week while she was waiting to make a turn, then followed her, rear-ended her car and pulled her from her vehicle. Others helped the woman, who was able to escape and call police.

“The investigation indicates that Ellis assaulted the victim because she is black,” police spokeswoman Liz Caroon wrote.

Ellis is charged with hate-crime assault and other offenses. His lawyer, Todd Ritter, said by phone Wednesday that he has requested a psychiatric evaluation of his client, and the evidence will cast a very different light on what happened.

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