Racial Slurs Used By Defendant During Deadly Road Rage Incident In Belmont

Photo: Dean Kapsalis being arraigned in Cambridge District Court (Credit: Pool video provided by WHDH)

A Hudson man was allegedly yelling racist slurs at a Black and Latino man before running him down and killing him with his pickup during a road rage incident on Upland Road on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Dean Kapsalis, 54 of Hudson was arraigned in Cambridge District Court on Wednesday, Jan. 20 on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a civil rights violation causing injury and leaving the scene of an accident causing personal injury in connection with striking and killing Henry Tapia, 35 of Boston.

Henry Tapia, killed in a road rage incident on Upland Road. (Credit: GoFundMe)

Judge Robert Harnais ordered the defendant held pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Jan. 25.

A vigil is being organized to remember Tapia at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22 in Cushing Square. A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist Tapia’s partner and three children.

The Middlesex DA investigation reported witnesses heard the defendant and the victim engaged in a verbal altercation in the roadway near 39-45 Upland Rd. where Kapsalis was yelling racial slurs at the Taia. Witnesses told police the victim allegedly began to walk back to his vehicle, a Honda Civic. At that time, the defendant allegedly entered his vehicle, a Dodge Dakota pickup truck, and drove it at the victim striking him by the driver’s side of his vehicle and dragging him a short distance before fleeing the scene.

Belmont Police located Tapia conscious but suffering from life-threatening injuries. First responders provided emergency assistance until Belmont Rescue arrived on the scene. Mr. Tapia was transported from the scene to Massachusetts General Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

The defendant ultimately turned himself in to police about a half-hour later.

While both men officially reside outside of the town, each has family or have lived in Belmont. Police report that neither party knew the other.

This is an active and ongoing investigation being conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Belmont Police. A reconstruction of the crash will be conducted by the Massachusetts State Police Crash Reconstruction and Analysis Section and additional charges are possible.

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