EDMOND — An alleged white supremacist with a prison record accused of assaulting a black teenager on an Edmond street said Thursday he was only trying to protect his neighborhood when he was jumped by a group of gang members.
James Brian Roper, 31, of Edmond, was arrested about 8 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Sandsprings Trial and Fountain View, after neighbors told police they saw a man with a gun chasing a group of boys.
Roper reportedly yelled racial epithets at the boys, one of whom may have suffered a torn ear during the incident. Edmond police would not discuss details of the incident Thursday and did not release a police report or a probable cause affidavit to the public.
Roper was booked into the Oklahoma County jail on a complaint of aggravated assault, a jail employee said. He was released Thursday afternoon after posting $4,000 bail.
“I'm not a racist. I'm not a bigot. I'm not prejudice,” Roper told The Oklahoman. “There were no racist words; this was just me looking out for my neighborhood.”
Roper said his house and others in his neighborhood have been broken into multiple times. He was driving down the street with his girlfriend and his 13-year-old son when they saw a group of black teenagers acting suspicious, he said.
Roper said they were “lifting door handles” and it looked like they were going to break into an abandoned house when he pulled up and confronted them.
“These guys are sitting there flashing gang signs,” he said. “They started saying stuff to my girlfriend.”
Roper said when he got of the car one of the males punched him the back of the head and another one put him in a headlock and drove his head into a brick wall like a “battering ram.”
“Six of 'em were kicking and beating me,” he said. “I was trying to fend them off as best I could.”
Roper said his assailants ran off as soon as neighbors said they were calling police. He said they were changing clothes as they ran away and threw what appeared to be a weapon over a fence.
Neighbors told police they saw a man running after a group of five or six boys and yelling. Becky Winn told The Oklahoman she called the police because she thought the man had a gun.
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