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Cracker Barrel Beating May Be Hate Crime

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by BAK, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Sep 17, 2009
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    Cracker Barrel Beating May Be Hate Crime

    Posted: 6:15 am EDT September 16, 2009Updated: 1:15 pm EDT September 16, 2009
    MORROW, Ga. -- The FBI is investigating the beating of an African-American woman by a white man at a Cracker Barrel restaurant as a possible hate crime.

    Morrow police said they arrested Troy Dale West, of Poulan, Ga. after he attacked Tasha Hill after she asked him to "be careful" at a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

    Morrow police were called to the Cracker Barrel restaurant on Southlake Plaza Drive in Morrow Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

    Upon arrival, officers said they located the female victim and called for EMTs and Fire Department officials to assist. At the same time, the alleged offender in the case, Troy West, was detained at the scene, police said.

    Police said an investigation revealed that the female victim, identified as Tasha Hill, was entering the Cracker Barrel with her 7-year-old daughter as West was leaving the restaurant. As West was leaving, the exit door came close to striking the 7-year-old daughter of the victim, police said. Hill, by all witness accounts, politely asked West to be careful, officials said.

    "The man slung open the door pretty hard and fast and I had to push my daughter out of the way. I turned to the man and I just said, 'Excuse me sir, you need to watch yourself you almost hit my daughter in the face.' And from there it just went downhill," said Hill.

    At that point, West became enraged and began to beat the victim in front of her 7-year-old daughter, according to police. Hill said she told West she was an Army servicemember and she did not want any trouble.

    West threw her to the ground and hit her in the head with his fists and feet, police said. During the exchange, witnesses said West could be heard screaming racial slurs at the victim.

    "Then he punched me in my face," said Hill. "And I fell to the ground and he proceeded to punch in my head and face."

    Many witnesses stepped up to assist police in the investigation by providing written statements as to the events that transpired. Cracker Barrel was also helpful to police in this investigation, Morrow police said.

    This case has been referred to the FBI Civil Rights Division for a possible violation of Federal Hate Crime Laws.

    Once officers obtained witness statements on the scene and looked at video surveillance from the Cracker Barrel, West was arrested and charged with battery, disorderly conduct, and cruelty to children in the first degree.

    West has bonded out of jail.