John Jay Smith of St. Augustine, FL was intoxicated Wednesday and was shortly arrested after harassing Muslim students from Egypt by yelling “Get out of my country.” He tried to attack two 20-year olds with a knife and stun gun, according to News 4 Jacksonville.
Smith was hit with felony charges of aggravated assault with a weapon, burglary with assault and armed trespassing. It didn’t take long for him to be released from the St John’s County Jail as he posted $8,500 bond.
The students were quietly eating their meals when Smith started yelling and telling them how they didn’t deserve to be in America and for them to get out. Smith soon went back to his car to get the knife and gun after the students tried to go in their car. They backed into a pole in order to try to avoid the gun.
When police arrested Smith, he kept saying “They killed my son. My son was a Marine. I am American and the guys by the vehicles were making a ruckus, so I told them to get out of here and one of them pulled a gun.”
Hate charges still haven’t been filed yet. Randy Reep, a spokesperson for the State Attorney’s Office is using the bigoted comments as possible charges for a hate crime.
“Was the prejudice the defendant had toward the victims caused by their ethnicity or where they’re from? If the answer to that is ‘yes,’ then it can be classified as a hate crime,. You have to understand what’s in the mind of the defendant when they’re committing the act. If he comes out and tells you, ‘I did it because of these things,’ then that’s one of the best ways for the government to prove that element of the crime.”
One of the victims said that they’re even more scared to be in public now and that they will watch how they move.
“We are scared from the whole situation, not because he got out, but the whole thing. It was scary from the beginning,” said the victim, who wished to remain anonymous. “We’re just mentally, physically and subconsciously drained right now. This is just too much for us.”
White supremacists continue to be bold in America. Hopefully this man goes back to jail and is there for a long time.
Flip the page for the local news coverage of the incident.