Decatur woman charged with hate crime | public safety

DECATUR — A Decatur woman is jailed on a preliminary charge of committing a hate crime after police say she used her car to run over an employee at a city liquor store.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police said the woman, identified as African American, rammed into the 22nd Street Discount Liquors worker and shouted “I hate white people” as she drove off.

Decatur Police Officer Rydick Braden, who signed the affidavit, said the employee suffered abrasions to his head and right elbow in the incident, which happened around 10 a.m. morning June 20. Braden said the 24-year-old woman was found and arrested Monday night. .

The officer said the trouble started when the woman, a liquor store customer, left her vehicle parked so it was blocking the main driveway. The employee said he reminded the bartender that it is company policy not to serve anyone associated with a vehicle obstructing the aisle.

The employee told police he was immediately confronted by the woman. “(He) said she yelled something similar to ‘Why (expletive) do I have to move my car?’ as she walked towards the vehicle,” Braden said.

The employee said he was going to his own vehicle and was hit by the woman as he crossed in front of her car. He said she made no attempt to stop after he punched him and shouted his “hate” comment and then fled south on North 22nd Street.

Braden said he reviewed surveillance video of the incident and said it matched the victim’s version of events.

The woman was sentenced on preliminary charges of hate crime and assault.

A check of Macon County jail records on Tuesday showed she remained in custody on bond set at $30,000, requiring her to post $3,000 bond to be released. Prosecutors had asked that bail be set at $75,000. If she posts bail, she is ordered to stay away from Discount Liquor.

All preliminary charges are subject to review by the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid