- Police have arrested a Florida man named John Smith who they say attacked two men he believed to be Muslim in a McDonald’s parking lot.
- One of the men told police that Smith yelled: “Get the f— out of here. You don’t deserve American food.”
- The two men told police that Smith approached them with a knife and a stun gun in the fast-food restaurant’s parking lot.
A man was arrested on Wednesday on charges that he attacked two customers outside a McDonald’s in St. Augustine, Florida, in what police say could be an anti-Muslim crime.
The two men told police that John Smith approached them in the fast-food restaurant’s parking lot and was holding a knife, The Florida Times-Union reported.
First Coast News reported that one of the men told police that Smith yelled: “Get the f— out of here. You don’t deserve American food.”
The men told police that Smith pulled out a stun gun after they entered their car and attempted to use it on one of the men in the vehicle.
Police say Smith may have been intoxicated and attacked the men because he believed they were Muslim, First Coast News reported.
“I don’t have any hard feelings towards him – we just feel vulnerable and scared,” one of the men told First Coast News.
Smith faces two counts of aggravated assault, in addition to single counts of trespassing and burglary with an assault or battery, The Times-Union reported.
Chuck Mulligan, a spokesman for the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, told First Coast News that hate-crime addendums may be added to Smith’s charges.
Reports of racism at restaurant chains have been in the spotlight in the past month. Since footage of the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks surfaced in April, numerous other stories of similar treatment have emerged. Earlier this month, a video showing a man at a California coffee shop harassing a Muslim customer went viral.