Twenty-three-year-old William Boucher was identified by authorities as the customer at a Chicago Starbucks who yelled racist language at two African-American men, before attacking three more people once he had left the establishment.
A report from CNN detailed the incident that took place on Tuesday afternoon, a few minutes after 2:30 p.m. at the West Lake Street Starbucks in Chicago. According to police officials, the blow-up started over a simple case of someone spilling a drink on Boucher, who had reportedly let loose with a string of epithets directed toward two African-American males who were in the area at that time. Video of the Starbucks racist incident shows William Boucher, who is white, telling one black man that his children are “disposable vermin” and referring to the other as a “slave” and telling him to shut up.
CNN added that Boucher’s angry outburst continued outside the Starbucks, as he spat on a 30-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman. Boucher and the man had nearly come to blows, but as a bystander intervened and broke things up, the angry customer prepared to leave and added the following words to the unidentified black male; this was the same man whose children Boucher had reportedly insulted by calling them “disposable vermin.”
“Get on all fours right now…. Do not walk off on two legs.”
A few seconds later, Boucher randomly punched a 59-year-old man, apparently unprovoked. ABC 7 Chicago noted that the 59-year-old man suffered an eye injury and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
For his alleged actions, Boucher was charged with three counts of misdemeanor battery, and is scheduled to make a court appearance on July 5.
Starbucks employees were quoted by ABC 7 Chicago as saying that William Boucher had previously been a “problem customer,” but had never been violent in the past. Employee Juan Torres added that he didn’t expect things to escalate as quickly as they did and that he thought the incident would be over once security or police arrived on the scene.
“I was shocked because I thought it was going to… end right there, security was going to come, the cops were going to show up.”
Since Tuesday’s incident, Boucher has refused to comment to the press and has apparently deleted or deactivated his Facebook after several social media users called him out when the Starbucks racist video went viral. But DNA Info was able to glean some information on William Boucher’s Facebook account, which suggests he goes by the nickname Billy and often makes public posts referencing his strong belief in God. According to the report, Boucher had often posted about wanting to become a success in the world of business and had shared photos of him posing with “diverse groups of people” at entrepreneurial events.
In an ironic twist given the allegations and the video footage, William Boucher had, in January of 2016, posted in defense of a hijab-wearing Muslim woman who was kicked out of a pro-Donald Trump rally.”
“This is total bullying!” Boucher reportedly commented.
“Are any of you really voting for this kid? And I’d love to tell that woman in person how well she took that! I’d give her a high five!”
At this point, it’s not clear as to whether William Boucher was simply having a bad day or what kind of problems he was causing at the aforementioned Chicago Starbucks before the racist slur incident. But Starbucks made it clear that such actions are not tolerated in its stores, having prepared an emailed statement for CNN on what had taken place on Tuesday.
“We have absolutely no tolerance for this type of behavior in our stores, and are grateful to the partners (employees) and customers who stepped in to help until officers arrived.”
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]