Update: AG charges New Gloucester men with civil rights violation after Portland attack

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PORTLAND — Two New Gloucester brothers charged in an April 19 attack on a man in an alley off Congress Street were accused Monday in a civil rights complaint filed by Maine Attorney General Janet Mills.

“This behavior is absolutely outrageous and has no place in our society,” Mills said in a press release.

Charles Bean Jr., 35, and Benjamin Bean, 30, have 20 days to respond in writing to the complaint filed in Cumberland County Superior Court.

Mills’ complaint was filed under the Maine Civil Rights Act, which protects citizens from attacks, property damage or threats based on “bias against race, color religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation,” she said.

The complaint follows a police investigation forwarded to Mills that alleges the Beans were involved in a fight with one man around 5 p.m. on April 19 near 790 Congress St., but broke off the fight and attacked Antonio Byars, 33, who is black and was in a crowd of spectators.

Charles Bean used racial slurs against Byars before the brothers “rushed toward the victim, knocked him down and punched and kicked him,” Mills said.

Both brothers continued to use racial slurs as they attacked Byars, and threatened to kill him, she added.

The complaint is separate from a Class D assault and interference with constitutional and civil rights charge filed against the brothers by Portland police, and seeks to permanently enjoin the Beans from having contact with Byars or his family, “or encouraging others to commit acts against the victim or his family,” Mills said.

Byars suffered facial injuries and scrapes, and bruises on his arms, Portland Assistant Police Chief Vern Malloch said in an April 21 press release.

On Monday, officials at Cumberland County Jail in Portland said Benjamin Bean remains in custody while Charles Bean was released on $5,060 cash bail.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.