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Decatur woman charged with hate crime

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

A sworn affidavit from Decatur Police said the woman, who was identified as African-American, had rammed the worker at 22nd Street Discount Liquors and yelled out “I hate white people” as she drove off.

Decatur Police Officer Rydick Braden, who signed the affidavit, said the male employee suffered abrasions to his head and right elbow in the incident, which happened about 10 a.m. 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 customer of the liquor store, left her vehicle parked so it blocked the main drive. The employee said he reminded the bartender that it's company policy not to serve anyone associated with a vehicle that obstructs the driveway.

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

The employee said he was walking to his own vehicle and was struck by the woman as he crossed in front of her car. He said she did not attempt to stop after hitting him and yelling her “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 booked on preliminary charges of committing a hate crime and battery.

A check of Macon County Jail records Tuesday showed she remained in custody with bail set at $30,000, requiring her to post a bond of $3,000 to be freed. Prosecutors had asked for bail to be set at $75,000. If she does post bond, she is ordered to stay away from Discount Liquor.

All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.

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


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