PLAINVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — A man in Plainville has been arrested twice for reportedly harassing his African American neighbors with threatening language and the Confederate flag.
Police said Anthony Esposito, 49, a convicted sex offender, was arrested back in June for breach of peace. This week, he was given the additional charge of disorderly conduct.
Angela Chapman, Esposito’s African American neighbor, and mother of his most recent harassment victim explained to NEWS 8, “He has parked his car where the flag is displayed right outside of our driveway specifically so that we can see it.”
Chapman said they have been victims of constant intimidation and verbal attacks from Esposito, who has reportedly deliberately displayed the Confederate flag while her 12-year-old daughter waited for the school bus.
Lt. Eric Peterson of the Plainville Police Department told NEWS 8 the harassment started over the summer. At one point, the two neighbors got into a heated argument and Esposito yelled, “You don’t know who I am. I’ll have the KKK here. As a matter of fact, I’ll have the KKK here on the 4th of July.”
Chapman added that Esposito told her, “how he does not like black people and he does not hear black people.”
Chapman says she and her family have lived in this neighborhood for 18 years and she has never encountered an issue like this before.
She reached out to law enforcement many times for multiple incidents from Esposito over several months. She says it wasn’t until she reached out to the community through Plainville Talks on Facebook and the NAACP that she receive dedicated attention from law enforcement concerning Esposito.
WEB EXTRA: Full interview with Angela Chapman concerning the escalating, racially-charged incidents from her neighbor
Police told News 8 that Esposito is a convicted sex offender. Chapman says that makes her very frightened for her daughter.
Peterson said the case is being taken very seriously and that the force is working with the state’s attorney.
Lila Winter, another neighbor, said she was shocked by the incident.
“I’m 90 years old and I’ve been here for like over 50 years and nothing like this has ever happen before.”
Chapman calling for change Tuesday night: “We need significant change because, unfortunately, the mindsets are still there. Racism is still alive.”
Chapman says she and her family find comfort in this difficult time in their faith.
“We continue to believe and have faith that despite the hate in this world, that God is going to protect us.”– Angela Chapman
Esposito is back home Tuesday night after bonding out of jail. He is set to be back in court in January.
The judge has set conditions that he can’t show the Confederate flag within 250 yards of the Chapman property, he can’t be outside while the 12-year-old girl gets on or off the bus, and he can’t have any contact with the Chapman family.
Angela Chapman says cruisers have patrolled the neighborhood every morning while her daughter gets on the bus since the judge set conditions.
The Chapmans say they have no plans to move. They had a fence put up Tuesday.