A Florida man is accused of pulling a knife and a stun gun on two Middle Eastern men at a St. Augustine McDonald’s, yelling at them to get out of the country, First Coast News is reporting.
John Jay Smith, 60, is facing a host of charges following the Wednesday incident. Those charges include two third-degree felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one first-degree felony count of burglary with assault or battery, and a third-degree felony count of trespassing.
According to WXJT-TV, the incident took place in the early-morning hours on Wednesday. At about 2:30 a.m., Smith pulled into the McDonald’s parking lot where he saw two men, both of whom are Egyptian Muslims, doing nothing more than eating. Smith, who was reportedly carrying a knife, allegedly told the men, “Get out of my country. You do not deserve to eat here.”
According to The Hill, Smith allegedly also asked the men if they were “American boys” and told them they don’t deserve to eat “American food.”
The men retreated to their car and tried to get away. That’s when Smith went to his own car and retrieved a stun gun, which he called a “zapper,” and allegedly reached through the Egyptian men’s car window with the device. In their haste to get away, the man who was driving backed his car into a pole, causing minor damage to the vehicle. He was then able to speed away.
John Jay Smith, 60, kept asking [the men] if they were “American boys” and told them to “get the [expletive] out of here you don’t deserve American food.” https://t.co/KS1HTpwuEY
— St. Augustine Record (@staugrecord) May 23, 2018
Police arrived on the scene and were able to discuss the matter with Smith, the victims, and a McDonald’s manager and employee who both witnessed the alleged assault. Although the incident was captured on McDonald’s security cameras, the manager declined to hand over footage to the police. However, both the manager and the employee backed up the victims’ version of events.
In the back of the police car, Smith allegedly told cops that one of the men was armed.
“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.”
No guns were found at the scene, on the victims, or in the victims’ vehicle.
Authorities also said that Smith kept repeating the same phrase over and over again.
“They killed my son. My son was a Marine.”
One of the victims said he’s been scarred by the incident.
“We are scared from the whole situation, not because he got out, but the whole thing. It was scary from the beginning. We’re just mentally, physically and subconsciously drained right now. This is just too much for us.”
As of this writing, Florida authorities are still mulling whether or not to upgrade the charges against Smith to include hate crimes.