A Portland man has been arrested after yelling the word n****r at two African American boys and threatening them with a butcher knife.
Michael T. Amatullo, a 60-year-old veteran, faces hate crimes charges after racially abusing a boy, eight, and his brother, 14, who live beside him.
Amatullo raised a butcher knife at the boys as he stood 6 to 7 feet away, prompting them to run and hide under a nearby stairwell at their apartment complex, according to a probable cause affidavit seen by
The boys then called 911 from their hiding place Tuesday, police said.
Michael T. Amatullo (above) faces hate crimes charges after racially abusing a boy, eight, and his brother, 14, who live beside him
According to the affidavit, the eight-year-old was taking out the trash when Amatullo began screaming that the youngster was staring at him.
Amatullo then directed the racial slur at him, authorities say. The 14-year-old brother intervened and Amatullo called him a name again.
The teen yelled back and Amatullo said he would beat him up if he continued.
Amatullo then threatened the brothers with the knife, the affidavit states. A police officer arrived at the scene and arrested Amatullo.
The officer asked Amatullo if he had racist thoughts and Amatullo responded with a racist tirade, according to the affidavit.
Amatullo told police that he had a confrontation with the boys and that he had grabbed the knife because the 14-year-old had threatened him.
Speaking after his court appearance, Amatullo told
He said he didn’t entend to run at the boys with the knife. However he claimed he was willing to use it if they entered his apartment.
A general view of the apartment block (far left) where Amatullo lives in Southeast Portland
‘I’m going to defend myself … even if it means stabbing someone to death’, Amatullo said. ‘You can defend yourself in your home’.
‘Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. The DA is going to do what he’s going to do’.
He was arraigned on two counts of misdemeanor menacing and two counts of second-degree intimidation, which is a hate crime.
He pleaded not guilty during a hearing Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
OregonLive reported that lives off Social Security disability, was honorably discharged from the military.
He was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.