Wellington [FL] confrontation highlights racial tensions, prompts calls for change

A video captures an unidentified man yelling at three teens, telling one, who is Black, “You do not deserve to be in here.”

 tense, racially charged exchange between teenagers and an unidentified man in a Wellington neighborhood on Sunday has resulted in a social media video and calls for change in the village.

“It’s not going away,” said Tony Nelson, 62, a 33-year Wellington resident — and a member of one of the village’s first Black families — whose granddaughter was seemingly targeted in the incident. “I can’t let it die. … People aren’t understanding what’s going on.”

When his granddaughter, Breonna Nelson-Hicks, 15, burst through the front door Sunday, she was scared, Nelson said.

A man she didn’t know had followed her and her friends home. He was yelling at them, she told her grandfather.

The five teens were riding in a golf cart Sunday afternoon in the Nelsons’ Wellington neighborhood when the man began following them in his Toyota sedan, according to Nelson, the teens and a police report filed that afternoon.

The teens had crossed Lake Worth Road from one development, The Isles, to Grand Isles, where the Nelsons live. They stopped at the guard gate, then began driving to Breonna’s house.

Nelson, whom Breonna lovingly calls “Lito” — short for “abuelito,” Spanish for grandfather — called the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to file a report.

So did the man. The report requested by The Palm Beach Post did not include the man’s name, citing an exemption for 911 callers or people requesting emergency services.

On Wednesday, PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera said in an email that the man told deputies he had “almost hit the golf cart being driven by” the teens.

“We received two calls and when the deputies arrived, the male had already gone home,” Barbera wrote in the email. “Deputies did speak to the juveniles and made contact with the male next day. Based on both accounts no crime was committed.”


%d bloggers like this: