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Suspect, police clash outside store

Mitchel Archeval didn't like what he saw Saturday morning.

More specifically, he didn't like what he saw on James Hammond, so he assaulted him, authorities said.

Before the morning was through, Archeval, of 6052 Seventh Ave. in New Port Richey, was facing charges of strong-arm robbery, aggravated battery, battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on a firefighter and criminal mischief.

He is being held in the county jail in Land O'Lakes on $95,500 bail.

Hammond, 27, was leaving the Kmart at 5725 U.S. 19 as Archeval, 23, was walking in about 9:25 a.m.

Archeval, who is black, complained to Hammond, who is white, about his many "Nazi tattoos" and his "skinhead" appearance and told Hammond that he hates white "crackers," according to a report by New Port Richey police Officer Charles Grant.

After exchanging words, Archeval struck Hammond and a fight ensued, the report said.

Archeval punched Hammond several times in the head, then took Hammond's car keys, it said.

When police and paramedics arrived, the two men had been separated outside the store.

Hammond was bleeding from his eyes, face and mouth, the report said, and his right eye was swollen shut. He was a Regional Medical Center at Bayonet Point, and Archeval was detained in the back of a police cruiser.

Officers found Hammond's keys on Archeval, the report said. When they questioned Archeval, he began to bang his head inside the car and scream racist remarks at the officers, according to the report.

The officers removed Archeval from the car's back seat to place him under arrest, and when they tried to handcuff him, he became more violent, head-butting Officer Vito Calderone.

Archeval's arms and legs were then handcuffed, but he fought officers the entire time.

When the officers placed Archeval back inside the police cruiser, he again struck the inside of the vehicle.

After he was removed from the vehicle again, Archeval butted the police cruiser with his head, causing dents and damage estimated at $250, the report said.

Paramedic Jason Gennaro then tried to check on Archeval, and Archeval spit on him.

The case has been referred to the assistant state attorney's office to determine if it will be classified as a hate crime.

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