Mass. man charged with murder after running over Black man in racist attack
Henry Tapia and Dean Kapsalis were involved in a road rage altercation, and witnesses heard Kapsalis yelling racial slurs
A Massachusetts White man is facing murder charges for running over a Black man during a road rage incident.
54-year-old Dean Kapsalis was heard yelling racial slurs at 34-year-old Henry Tapia before running him over with his vehicle. Kapsalis was arrested on January 19 and was initially charged with civil rights violations, among other charges, but on Monday, he was charged formally with murder.
Tapia and Kapsalis were involved in a road rage altercation last week, which led to both men exiting their vehicles and arguing with each other. According to the initial investigation, Kapsalis struck Tapia, dragging him a short distance, before fleeing the scene.
He turned himself into the Belmont Police Department later that day.
According to reports, Kapsalis has a long history of driving infractions that date back to 1984, including seven crashes and close to 20 speeding tickets. According to NBC10, the Registry of Motor Vehicles records shows that Kapsalis’s license has been suspended ten times.
Judge Ina Howard-Hogan ordered that Kapsalis be held without bail. He returns to court on March 1.
A vigil was held in Tapia’s honor on January 21, and hundreds of people came together to mourn the father of three.
“A vigil is being held in Belmont for Henry Tapia, a black man who died Tuesday after witnesses say a white man hurled racial slurs and ran Tapia over with his truck after the two had a verbal road rage altercation,” wrote one Twitter user. “There are signs that read “I miss my dad” and “say his name.”
A GoFundMe has also made in Tapia’s honor and has far exceeded its $10,000 goal, collecting more than $150,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.
The fundraising page was started by Danny Garcia, a BostonTekken/New England Tekken gaming community member. Henry Tapia was also a significant member before his passing.
Garcia describes Tapia as a “stellar individual” who had plans to buy his first home and was a big fan of Afrobeats superstar Burna Boy. He went on to highlight the fact that Tapia “tried every day to be the best role model for children.”
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