Maine’s attorney general has filed a civil rights complaint against two brothers accused of attacking and yelling racial slurs at a black man in Portland because of his skin color.

Benjamin Bean, 30, and Charles Bean, 35, both of New Gloucester, were arrested on charges of assault and interference with constitutional and civil rights after an attack on Antonio Byars, 33, of Portland on April 19, police said.

The brothers were engaged in a fight with another man in an alley outside 790 Congress St. that had drawn a crowd, Attorney General Janet Mills said in a statement Monday. Byars, the alleged victim in the case, was singled out because of his skin color and the brothers attacked him, knocking him down and punching and kicking him, the complaint says.

The two men threatened to kill Byars because of his race and said they “know where he lives,” the statement said.

Byars suffered injuries to his face and scrapes and bruises on both arms, police said.

“This behavior is absolutely outrageous and has no place in our society,” Mills said in the statement. “We will protect the right of every Mainer to enjoy the rights and privileges afforded to them under the Maine and U.S. constitutions without interference based on the color of their skin.”

The complaint seeks an injunction to permanently prevent the Bean brothers from having contact with the victim or his family or encouraging others to harm them, the statement said.

Randy Robinson, the attorney for Charles Bean, did not return a call for comment Monday. Verne Paradie, attorney for Benjamin Bean, could not be located for comment.

A voice mail message seeking comment from the Bean brothers was left on their home telephone number Monday night, but they did not respond.

The complaint is separate from the criminal charges against the pair. A dispositional conference is scheduled for July 8 in the criminal case.

The Beans have 20 days to file a response to the complaint with the court, Mills’ statement said.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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