MARYLAND’S MONTGOMERY COUNTY (Washington, DC) NEWS NOW A customer at a Gaithersburg grocery store said he was attacked by a group of people who hurled anti-Semitic slurs at him before hitting him and knocking him unconscious.
Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, say they have arrested 19-year-old D.C. resident Eugene Thompson for an assault that occurred at the Giant on Flower Hill Way and 18200.
According to investigations, the injured shopper witnessed Thompson and others causing a commotion on January 24 at approximately 3:50 p.m.
The man testified in court that the group had been stealing doughnuts from a display case and throwing fruit and other groceries at customers. The man claimed he went up to the group and demanded they all stop.
He claimed the group had surrounded him, and that someone had thrown something at his head (possibly a lime). During the heated discussion, the man took off his hooded sweatshirt. Soon, everyone could see the Star of David pendant he was wearing around his neck.
Thompson, who initially gave police his name as Michael Stewart and claimed to be 30, allegedly put his hands up in a combative stance, according to the witness.
Thompson “then stated something along the lines of ‘Lets go f***ing Jew,'” according to the paperwork. The terrified witness told police that he had tried to calm the group down by talking to Thompson, but that Thompson had instead begun punching him.
The victim claimed that he heard “Yeah, do it for Kanye” chanted from the crowd as he was being struck.
The man who called 911 said to the dispatcher that he had been attacked because of his religion.
According to the report, during the altercation, Thompson tackled the man to the ground, and once the man was helpless on the floor, Thompson began to strike him repeatedly in the head.
The man claimed to have blacked out and forgotten the events that followed. He also has other neurological issues and a traumatic brain injury from a previous incident, he said.
This is when everyone converged on him, and Thompson began yelling anti-Semitic slurs and punching the man until he passed out. After browsing the store, Thompson and the others left. As a result of the attack, the man lost his keys.
The man, who was severely injured, was treated by police and paramedics before being taken to the hospital. A police officer said he thought he would make it.
After the attack, Maurice Freeman wanted to make sure his friend who works at Giant was all right, so he went to pay them a visit.
“It’s just a sad time in America, you know, it’s just so much hate that’s been brewing,” Freeman said.
Thompson was arrested after police tracked him down to a McDonald’s in the 18200 block of Flower Hill Way.
The police claimed to have located the man’s stolen keys while searching Thompson.
According to the police department, Thompson is being investigated for robbery and first-degree assault. This past Thursday, he was still being held without bond. Together with the MCPD, the state’s attorney’s office was preparing hate crime charges against him.