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White Massachusetts man who followed black woman will be charged

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A white Massachusetts man who confronted a black woman and allegedly followed her in his BMW in her own neighborhood will face charges, police said.

The 65-year-old Groveland man, who was caught on camera in footage posted Monday by 21-year-old Julia Santos, accused the woman of acting suspiciously as she picked up free dog food from a residence about a mile away from her home in Groveland, WHDH reports.

The man, who was not identified by police, will be charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. He will be summonsed to Haverhill District for a hearing, Groveland police said Thursday.

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A source close to the investigation identified the man as Paul Birkhauser, who was also identified in Santos’ tweet on Monday, the Boston Globe reports. He did not return several messages seeking comment Wednesday, the outlet reports.

Investigators determined that the man seen in the video “disturbed neighbors” during the incident and caused another motorist to drive off a road to avoid him as he allegedly argued with Santos, police said in a statement.

“I started to get really, really scared,” Santos told WHDH. “Especially when I pulled over, and he pulled over right behind me, almost bumper to bumper. I’m like, OK, something’s going to go down.”

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Santos then whipped out her phone and started recording the ensuing encounter, she said.

Groveland Police Chief Jeffrey Gillen said he was “deeply disturbed” by the incident in the small town that’s 98 percent white, according to census data cited by the Globe.

Santos, meanwhile, said she was pleased with Thursday’s development.

“It’s super nice to know the police department worked very quickly and just trying to do their best, so it has a really good outcome,” Santos told WHDH. “I just hope that he know he can’t do this and get away with it. That’s all I really hope, that he gets held accountable for it.”

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