Trouble in Paradise

A metal pellet still lodged in his leg, a 40-year-old African-American construction worker is back at work after becoming the victim of an apparent hate crime in Paradise.

On Nov. 2, while the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, was 20 feet in the air framing the second floor of a structure on Pentz Road, he felt a stinging in the back of his leg. Fellow workers saw a man run into a trailer across the street from the construction site and gave chase but lost sight of him. The suspect was later identified as the 17-year-old son of Dennis Boone, who lives on the 4000 block of Pentz Road.

Boone allegedly went to the work site and confronted the construction workers for coming to his trailer. He then took off his shirt to reveal white pride gang tattoos and threatened the workers, according to a Butte County Sheriff’s report.

Deputies soon arrived and questioned the trailer’s residents, who denied knowing anything about the shooting.

Three days later, deputies investigated a note found by the construction workers that contained white-supremacist gang graffiti, Nazi signs and the words “Watch your ass Bitch’es.” At that point the incident was categorized as a hate crime.

With search warrant in hand, sheriff’s investigators entered the trailer on Nov. 10 and found the weapon and the juvenile who fit the description of the shooter. The juvenile was arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, making terrorist threats and interference with the exercise of civil rights, all felonies. Dennis Boone was arrested for being an accessory after the fact to the assault.

Sheriff’s Det. James Dimmitt said an air pellet gun can cause serious harm.

“In this case it caused significant injury, and [the pellet] ended up inside the victim’s knee quite a distance,” he said.

The victim was taken to Feather River Hospital and released with the pellet still in his knee. He is back at work.

When the victim learned that the attack was deemed a hate crime, he said he felt bewildered. “Hate is scary and something we could all do without,” he said.

He added that he would rather see the juvenile who shot him rehabilitated rather than locked away.