Londonderry man faces civil rights violation charges

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LONDONDERRY –– New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella announced enforcement actions against a Londonderry man for allegedly threatening another individual based on their perceived race and nationality, in violation of the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act.

David Van Tassell, 61, is accused of leaving an anonymous note on the windshield of a truck on July 29, 2023, that read, “you are worse than a Purto Rican (sic) you should be shot.” The civil complaint alleges that Van Tassell’s conduct was an attempt to coerce or terrorize the alleged victim, placing them in fear of harm.

The complaint also claims that Van Tassell’s action was motivated by the alleged victim’s race and/or national origin.

Each violation of the Civil Rights Act carries a maximum civil penalty of $5,000.

The court also has the power to restrain the defendant from committing future violations of the Civil Rights Act and other hate-motivated conduct for three years.

Along with the complaint, the Civil Rights Unit has requested a preliminary restraining order to protect the victim and the public from Van Tassell.

The allegations in the complaints are accusations; the Civil Rights Unit must prove the accusations at a final hearing.

The Civil Rights Unit enforces state civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act and the New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination.

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