A Massachusetts man was jailed after authorities say he threatened to stab two Black men and hurled a racial slur at them over a missing wallet.
On July 31 after midnight, a Lowell police officer was driving his cruiser when he spotted two men pinning another man to the ground at Bridge Street and VFW Highway, according to court documents obtained by reporters. When the cop got out of his vehicle to investigate, the two men released the man, later identified as Surette, and said, "Help, he has a knife."
Police say Surrette ran away while ignoring the officer's commands to get on the ground. The officer and the two men ended up chasing and tackling the 45-year-old suspect, who was taken into custody.
The incident began when one of the men accidentally left his wallet at a store earlier that night, according to a police report. He later got phone notifications about someone attempting to use his credit card, which was in the missing wallet, at a CVS.
When the duo arrived at the store, employees told them that Surette tried to buy two $100 Visa gift cards with the credit card, court documents say. The workers suspected the credit card didn't belong to Surette, so they refused the transaction.
The Black men then found Surette outside of the store and confronted him about the missing wallet. Surette reportedly gave back the credit card but denied having the wallet. He started walking away, but the men began following him. That's when Surette allegedly told them, “I have a knife,” and “I’ll stab you 100 times, you (racial expletive)," the report says.
This prompted the men to subdue Surette until the police arrived. Authorities say they didn't find a knife nor a wallet in the suspect's possession, but they did find a small bag holding a substance consistent with fentanyl.
Surette was charged with attempting to commit a felony crime (armed robbery), resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, possession of a Class A drug, credit card fraud, and discriminating in a public accommodation, according to the newspaper. He's due back in court on August 30.