Police: Two men charged with hate crimes after yelling racial slurs during assault in Des Moines

Iowa News

DES MOINES, IOWA — Two men are charged with hate crimes and other crimes after allegedly yelling racial slurs at a man as they assaulted him on Monday in Des Moines.

Joseph Rossing and Robert Shelton – both Caucasian – are accused of assaulting Earl Blanton – a Black man – on Monday night. According to criminal complaints, Rossing and Shelton yelled “n*****” and “black m***** f*****” at Blanton as they assaulted. Rossing and Shelton are accused of prying Blanton’s locked car door open to continue the assault. Blanton suffered cuts to his cheek and ear.

Rossing – a 35-year-old from Swan, Iowa – is charged with Willful Injury, Criminal Mischief, Assault (Violation of Individual Rights), Child Endangerment and Parole Violation. Police say he brought his girlfriend’s young son with him and left the boy alone in his vehicle for over an hour as the assault played out.

Shelton – a 49-year-old from Delaware Township – is charged with Willful Injury, Assault (Violation of Individual Rights) and Criminal Mischief.

Both men remain in the Polk County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.

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