MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8 had the only camera in the courtroom as the Lemelin brothers made their first appearance before a judge Tuesday.
The two brothers stand accused of chasing down three Black teenagers who were riding their bikes past the Lemelin’s Main Street home early Sunday morning.
Police said Matthew Lemelin yelled the n-word at the boys, stole one of their bikes and slashed the tires.
According to court records, Matthew admitted chasing the kids and hurling racial slurs at them. He said the teens started the argument and threw something at him. Police said they were unable to find any evidence of that.
He said he was drunk and didn’t know they were kids.
Court officials said Matthew has an extensive criminal history with arrests both in Florida and, just weeks ago, in Manchester. He told the judge he has a baby son due to be born next week.
“I’m not a flight risk,” he said during his bond hearing, in which he sought to be released on a promise to appear. Judge Hope Seeley refused, citing the seriousness of the allegations. He’s held on $10,000 bond.
In a back-to-back hearing, Michael Lemelin looked visibly upset. He had previously told police he drove his brother but did not understand why Matthew appeared to be yelling the n-word. Court records indicate Michael did not utter the racial slurs, but police said he was driving the vehicle used to follow the group of friends.
He’s being held on $5,000.
Neighbor Ed Koloski said he witnessed part of what happened and is upset for his community.
“The other night, I heard them chasing someone erratically like they were chasing someone in their vehicle,” said Koloski, who later found the stolen bike and helped return it to the alleged victims. “I have kids that grow up in that neighborhood. It wasn’t a good feeling to have someone like that around.”