White Woman Says Attack Was Racist

Lisa Fogarty, Queens Chronicle, March 4, 2010

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On Feb. 8, Phyllis, a 45-year-old white Howard Beach resident who has requested her last name be omitted for this article, left her place of employment on Crossbay Boulevard at around 3:15 p.m. to cross the street and purchase a pack of Marlboro’s and a can of soda from C-Town grocery store, located at the corner of Sutter Avenue and Crossbay.

{snip}

{snip} Having completed her purchases, she prepared to cut across Crossbay and return to work, not expecting to encounter trouble from a group of about 12 teens–which included the boy and girl with whom she had exchanged words in front of C-Town–that had congregated on the corner across the boulevard from Cookie’s.

“As I was walking by, the boy told the girl ‘oh look, here comes that b**** again, she’s gonna f*** with you,'” Phyllis said. “The girl then approached me and said, ‘I know you didn’t cross the street to f*** with me, you white b****.'”

Phyllis said she repeated to the girl that she should be more respectful and the girl, in turn, slapped Phyllis’ hand. Almost immediately, four of the teens jumped on the woman, kicking and beating her. They stole her cell phone and left her on the ground, fleeing when the police showed up.

When the nightmare was over, Phyllis learned two bones in her spine had been fractured and one of her ribs had been kicked out of alignment, which affected her lungs and breathing. Countless doctor and chiropractor appointments later, and she says her back is still killing her.

{snip} “I’ve been around the block a few times, grew up in Brooklyn and have a little street in me,” she said.” But this has really devastated me. They attacked me because of the color of my skin.”

According to police, a 15-year-old black male from Queens was arrested in connection with the assault. The girl is still unapprehended. The boy, whose identity remains anonymous because he is a minor, has been charged with robbery and assault and Phyllis says she and police are pushing to make sure he is charged with a racial hate crime.

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Of the 9,160 single-bias hate crime offenses reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2008, more than half stemmed from racial bias, but only 17.3 percent of those reflected “anti-white” bias.

Despite this statistic, Phyllis said her friends, family and even her doctors support her decision to press hate crime charges. {snip}

“I have good medical insurance and I’m not suing because I need that,” she said. “I’m going to be 46 years old in June. I grew up in a racially diverse neighborhood, and I never experienced anything like this. I find this to be one of the most disturbing things to happen to me in my life–but if I can help someone by telling my story, then maybe it’s worth it.”

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