Feds probe attack on Ga. reservist as hate crime

A black female Army reservist said Wednesday she hasn't been able to sleep since she was beaten by a white man in front of her 7-year-old daughter last week, and federal authorities said they were investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Tashawnea Hill was kicked and punched Sept. 9 as the man screamed racial slurs outside a Cracker Barrel in Morrow, about 15 miles southeast of Atlanta, police said. Troy D. West, 47, became enraged when Hill told him to be careful after he nearly hit her daughter while opening the restaurant's door, police said.

Hill was taken to the hospital afterward and said she is still in shock.

“My major concern is that my daughter is OK. Mommy will heal up. Mommy will get better, but she's the future,” Hill said in a telephone interview on the way to the doctor's office.

FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett said the Justice Department's civil rights division in Washington has initiated a probe into the incident.

West was charged with battery, disorderly conduct and cruelty to children, and is currently out on $5,000 bond. A hearing has been set for Sept. 24 in Clayton County.

Police said the cruelty to children charge was included because the daughter witnessed the beating.

Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said she planned to present new charges to a grand jury, but didn't elaborate.

“I don't normally get personally involved in cases, but I am going to personally prosecute Mr. West on behalf of that victim and the citizens of this county,” Lawson said during a press conference.

West, of Poulan, hasn't returned several calls seeking comment, and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney.

West told Morrow police he became upset because Hill spit on him after accusing him of trying to hit her daughter, according to the police report. But several witnesses said they never saw Hill spit on West.

His mother said in a brief phone interview Tuesday that her son would never hurt a mother, especially in front of a child.

“This just doesn't sound right,” said Johnny West from her Poulan home.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsNation

Just Posted

California Highway Patrol officers watch as Caltrans workers remove barricades from homeless camp sites as residents are forced to relocate from a parking lot underneath Interstate 80 on Monday, May 17, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco’s broken promise to resolve homeless encampments

‘There is an idea that The City is leading with services, and they are not’

The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
Whistleblowing hasn’t worked at San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection

DBI inspectors say their boss kept them off connected builders’ projects

FILE — Mort Sahl on Nov. 10, 1967. Sahl, who confronted Eisenhower-era cultural complacency with acid stage monologues, delivering biting social commentary in the guise of a stand-up comedian and thus changing the nature of both stand-up comedy and social commentary, died on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, at his home in Mill Valley, Calif., near San Francisco. He was 94. (Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times)
Legendary local comedian dies at 94

By Bruce Weber NYTimes News Service Mort Sahl, who confronted Eisenhower-era cultural… Continue reading

Sharon Van Etten (left) reached out to Angel Olsen about working on a song and they ended up releasing “Like I Used To,” which may be performed at Outside Lands. (Photo by Dana Trippe)
Performers’ emotions are high as Outside Lands returns to San Francisco

Festival features Sharon Van Etten and Boy Scouts alongside The Strokes, Lizzo and Tame Impala

Most Read