Three suspected white supremacists accused of yelling racial slurs and throwing a brick at a Scranton man in March showed up in Lackawanna County Court on Wednesday -- barely.
Charged with ethnic intimidation and making terroristic threats, the men were scheduled for preliminary hearings before District Justice George Clark. After consulting with their lawyers, two waived their hearings and the third got a postponement. Each man appeared in court separately and for less than three minutes. None spoke.
The misdemeanor charges against Steve Monteforte, 33, of West Pittston, and Steven Smith, 31, of West Chester, were bound over for trial. Future court dates have not been set. Both men are free on bail.
Keith Carney, 21, of Feasterville, is scheduled to return for his preliminary hearing May 14. Also charged with criminal mischief, he remains in the Lackawanna County Prison for lack of $100,000 cash bail.
Scranton police arrested the trio March 23 after Antoni Williams, a black man, called 911 from his cell phone to report the alleged attack. Mr. Williams said the men approached him with bricks around 2:30 a.m. on the 1200 block of Wyoming Avenue, called him a derogatory name and asked whether he ever "got beat up by a skinhead."
The victim fled, according to police reports, then the men drove by him and threw one of the bricks. They circled the block and continued yelling racial slurs until Patrolman Jeff Vaughn arrived, police said.
Experts at the Anti-Defamation League say Mr. Carney and Mr. Smith are key players in the Keystone State Skinheads, a white supremacy group.
In December 2001, Mr. Carney was arrested in Philadelphia and charged with vandalism, criminal mischief and criminal conspiracy. Police said he littered the city's Vietnam War memorial with stickers for the National Alliance, another white supremacist group.
Prosecutors suspect Mr. Monteforte is also a white supremacist.