LEXINGTON, Mass. - A Lexington man was arrested last week for racist harassment after police say they caught him in the act.
Another resident reported the vandalism on Dec. 16, saying she has found banana peels on her driveway and car for about 18 months. She also says she recently found two of her tires slashed.
She's testifying in court asking for a restraining order against 49-year-old Robert Ivarson, because her children are afraid of him.
According to police, the harassment appeared to be "motivated by bias against the resident's race" and repeatedly happened in the early morning. The woman her children are the only people of color in the neighborhood.
Ivarson's attorney, Stephen McClendon, argued his actions are more that or a careless litterbug.
"In one of the reports itself, it says it looks like he's eating a banana on the way to take his walk and he throws it up in the air and he continues to walk," McClendon said in court.
Lexington police set up cameras to catch him in the act on Dec. 29. Police said they witnessed an incident and arrested him on the spot.
Ivarson has been charged with three counts of civil rights violations, criminal harassment and outstanding warrants.
Court paperwork obtained by FOX25 indicates Ivarson had a previous conversation with police, in which he complained about his neighbors.
"The man also complained of how there was a black family he claimed was 'section' and that they had nice cars for 'section 8 people,'" the paperwork reads.
Prosecutors say Ivarson has a troubling violent past that includes assault and weapons violations.
The man was arrested by Lexington police in connection to a number of incidents over the course of the past year, police say.
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