What the FBI believes is a hate crime occurred at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in a town just south of Atlanta, Georgia.
The incident took place at the entrance of the restaurant when 35-year-old Tashawnea Hill was beaten to the ground in front of her 7-year-old daughter by Troy Dale West Jr. of Poulan, Georgia.
Hill, an African American Army reservist told police West, 47, yelled racial slurs at her as he beat her with a closed fist and kicked her repeatedly.
“He did punch me with a closed fist repeated times. My head is still hurting today. I have knots on my head,” Hill said.
According to CNN, police said witnesses confirmed Hill’s story,
Because the beating took place in front of Hill’s daughter, police said West could be charged with a felony count if cruelty to children.
“[The woman’s daughter] was visibly upset the night of the attack,” according to Capt. James Callaway of the Morrow Police Department, who said he was on the scene shortly after the alleged attack.
The police report said Hill’s daughter was so upset by what she saw she was “crying uncontrollably and her body body [was] shaking and trembling.”
Hill said what prompted the attack is when West flung the restaurant door open as she and her daughter were leaving.
“The man slung open the door pretty hard and fast and I had to push my daughter out of the way,” Hill told CNN affiliate WSB-TV. “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.”
“At no point did Ms. Hill do anything to provoke the attack. She did not spit on Mr. West. She spoke to him. He attacked her,” Jones said.
Jones said he was “convinced this was a hateful, racist attack … based on the N-word, the B-word, etc.”
“The language was vile. It was racist. It was sexist. It was completely offensive, completely unprovoked,” Jones said.