Police: Man yelled racial slurs during argument in Riverside

SHARE Police: Man yelled racial slurs during argument in Riverside

Peter C. Gangas | Riverside police

A man yelled racial slurs during an argument with a group of people last week outside his apartment in west suburban Riverside, police said.

Peter C. Gangas, 45, has been charged with three counts of disorderly conduct, a Class A misdemeanor, according to a statement from Riverside police.

Multiple people called 911 about 7:40 p.m. April 3 to report a large disturbance in front of the apartment complex in the 2900 block of Harlem Avenue, police said.

A white man, identified as Gangas, was “highly intoxicated” and yelling at a group of African Americans and Hispanics to get off his property, police said. He shouted racial slurs at the group, which included both adults and several juveniles between the ages of 4 and 13. Police said he was also verbally combative with officers.

Gangas claimed he confronted the group because he saw individuals urinating against his complex, but the officers were not able to verify that, police said. No physical contact took place during the incident and no injuries were reported.

After officers took Gangas into custody and transported him to the police station, other officers stayed at the scene to dispersethe crowd and “calm down the highly-charged situation,” the statement said. Gangas was “extremely uncooperative” with police throughout the process.

“The hate crime statute did not apply because no physical contact, such as a battery, took place or there was not threat of great bodily harm,” the statement said.

Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said in the statement that he was grateful the situation didn’t turn physical.

“Mr. Gangas’s actions are completely unacceptable and I have contacted the property owner of the apartment complex to notify them of the extremely volatile situation that took place that could easily persist if the situation is not handled immediately by the property management company,” he said.

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