2 men accused of threatening black family in Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) _ Two Springfield men are charged under Missouri’s hate crimes law after they allegedly threatened a black woman and her children at the family’s home.

Springfield police say the men, 23-year-old Aaron Williams and 35-year-old Austin Pierce, have been charged with attempted burglary and property damage motivated by discrimination.

The children’s mother, Dewan Newsom, told police the men banged on windows at her home last Friday and threatened to kill the family, while using several racial slurs. She says the men broke glass on the family’s front door and left only after her 14-year-old son, who is large for his age, returned home and yelled at them.

The Springfield News-Leader reports both men acknowledged being at the home but denied they tried to break in.

Information from: Springfield News-Leader

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