CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Stow man charged with ethnic intimidation after threatening to kill a Black delivery driver

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 11:15 PM EDT
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STOW, Ohio (WOIO) - A Stow man was caught on camera berating a Black woman in front of her young son. He even threatened to shoot and kill her.

On Tuesday, Stow police charged him with a felony.

19 News wants to warn our viewers that the videos are extremely upsetting.

“Get the f--- out of here,” James Rhodes yelled at Kiauna Larkins. “I pay $1,000 a month here. You make $1,000 in two months. F---- you.”

“How do you know that?” Larkins asked.

“You’re a dumb Black f------ n----- b----. F---- you,” yelled Rhodes.

“What’s your name?” asked Larkin.

“Yeah, and I’m racist,” admitted Rhodes. “I’m a racist mother f-----. I got an AK47 right now in my f------ god damn car; I’ll blow your f------ head off!”

On April 17th, 22-year-old Kiauna Larkins was delivering a DoorDash order in Stow with her two-year-old son. When she pulled into the Wyndham Ridge Apartments, she went around a stopped car.

“After I delivered the order, I came outside, and the man he was still waiting outside,” said Larkins. “He was just beeping, and then when I tried to leave, he started following me.”

That man was 53-year-old James Rhodes.

“Go ahead and call the cops. You’re driving erratically, and you’re a f------- n----- b----!”

Neighbors quickly came out to defend Larkins.

“She’s driving erratically,” Rhodes said to a neighbor.

“Well, look at you; you’re acting erratically,” said the neighbor. “I don’t give a f---, you don’t call her names. You don’t call her names because you’re pissed.”

“F--- that n----,” yelled Rhodes.

“You know what? You’re a racist,” said the neighbor.

“Yes, I am,” Rhodes replied.

Larkins says she’s never personally experienced racism like that before, but she says as a mixed-race woman in America, she’s used to being looked at differently.

“Like he was basically proud to say that he was a racist, and he didn’t have any remorse for what he said,” Larkins said.

“F--- you and everybody that looks like you,” Rhodes yelled in the video.

Stow police arrested Rhodes and charged him with aggravated menacing and felony ethnic intimidation.

“What are they gonna come arrest me?” Rhodes yelled in the video.

“I was very scared,” Larkins said. “At that point, I did drive off because you never know what could happen and what people are really capable of.”

Larkins says she has not DoorDashed since because she is afraid.

“I just want to know what Black people did to this man, this particular man to cause so much hatred.”

As a mother of a Black son, she fears for his future.

“I’m scared what my son will have to go through when he does grow up, what he won’t be able to do,” explained Larkins.

The Stow mayor also sent 19 News the following statement, “We are well aware of a video that has surfaced which captured an unfortunate and despicable incident in our City on April 17, 2021. Upon learning of the incident, The Stow Police Department immediately began an investigation which concluded earlier today. I want to commend Stow Police Chief Jeff Film and his team of officers for working swiftly and accurately in their handling of this occurrence. I can confirm that the individual involved has been formally charged with ethnic intimidation and aggravated menacing.

As a Stow resident for over 25 years, it saddens me to think that this incident could in any way define our City for those who are otherwise unfamiliar with Stow. The community that I know and love absolutely condemns the behavior displayed on the video and, instead, chooses the principles of kindness, tolerance, and inclusivity to guide our daily actions and beliefs. Let me be clear – there is no place for violence, racism, or intolerance in the City of Stow. We take great pride in creating a welcoming atmosphere for all people and actively celebrate our diversity.

In July 2020, Stow City Council passed a resolution affirming our commitment to actively promote racial equality in all City operations and decisions. Additionally, we have partnered with Stow-Munroe Falls City School District to engage in dialogue and listening sessions related to the topic of racism and equity. This work is far from complete and continues today. I encourage our residents to join City leaders in the fight against racism by becoming involved in local opportunities and initiatives aimed at raising awareness and changing attitudes and perspectives.

The City of Stow is a wonderful place to live, raise a family and retire. We will continue to work hard to ensure ALL people have access to this goal.”

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