A salesman in New York dragged a client by her hair from a store and beat her
A Staten Island woman who was buying marijuana at a local store was confronted by a cashier who beat her, dragged her outside by her hair, kicked her in the head and called her a transvestite, NY Daily News reported.
The shocking attack, which was captured on video by witnesses, left Jasmine Adams traumatized and her suffering was compounded by the fact that the store employee who attacked her was not arrested. On Monday, October 9, she took a step closer to possible justice when her lawyer Robert Brown filed a discrimination lawsuit against West Brighton Deli Grocery & Grill in Staten Island Supreme Court.
The lawsuit alleges that Adams is bisexual but was assaulted because the cashier “mistook the complainant for a transgender person.” The NYPD confirmed that Adams told police the same thing when she reported the incident. “Even if I were a transvestite, what does that have to do with the matter?” asked Adams, 35, who was wearing a rainbow-colored Apple Watch bracelet at the time of the attack.
“Why did you feel so good when you hit me? I didn’t show aggression. I didn’t have any weapons. I was just a buyer.” The employee was fired, but the store, located on Henderson Avenue near Campbell Avenue, did not assist in identifying him.
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Brown said officers erred by not releasing the video to the media, as is often done when trying to identify and locate a suspect, and by conducting only a quick telephone interview with the victim. The Hate Crimes Unit was involved in the case, police said, but Brown noted that no investigators from that unit had contacted Adams.
No signs of trouble
Adams, a mother of two who runs a home for disabled adults, went into the store to buy marijuana for a friend around 11:30 p.m. on July 28. Marijuana has been legal in the city since 2021, but so far only nine dispensaries in New York City are licensed to sell marijuana. Hundreds of other stores, however, sell marijuana.
Since Adams doesn’t smoke, she talked to her friend on the phone while making the purchase, asking questions to make sure she made the right choice. The seller mistook her conversation for an attempt to negotiate a lower price.
“I said it wasn’t about the price and that I was just trying to understand what I was buying,” Adams said. – So I paid. But he clenched his teeth, got angry and threw the bag of marijuana on the floor.”
Offended, Adams decided not to pick up the grass from the floor and asked for her money back. “He said I was trying to get him fired and that he was going to call the police,” she recalls. I replied: “Call the police. I just want my money back.” Then I heard him call me a transvestite. I was like, “Transvestite? I am a full-fledged woman. I have all the female body parts.”
Like in fog
Before she could dodge, the attacker hit her in the face with his helmet and then ran towards her behind the counter. She remembers that she could barely see as she grabbed the coffee pot and swung it.
She doesn’t know if she hit him, but he grabbed her long hair.
While she was dragged out of the store, called a “whore” and dragged down three concrete steps, several young men on the street were recording on their smartphones, some of them reacting in shock to the attack.
“Oh my God!” one of the women screamed in the video. “You shouldn’t have done that,” said another.
The worker knocked her onto the concrete and kicked her in the head.
“The next thing I remember, when I opened my eyes, I was lying on the street next to my car,” Adams said. “I told myself that I need to get out of here because I don’t know if he’s going to kill me.”
Adams somehow drove away in her car, but stopped about a block later, stopped a couple she didn’t know and asked them to help take her home.
When she called 911 after returning home, police arrived, but she was told she needed to go back to the scene, which was in another part of town, and call again from there.
Brown, a former NYPD captain, noted that police are required to take a report no matter where the crime occurred and that forcing crime victims to return to where they were attacked is traumatizing. The NYPD said Adams told a 911 dispatcher she would go to the crime scene, meaning she volunteered to do so.
However, according to her, when Adams returned to the store and called the police from there, the police did not arrive until four hours later. She said police appeared to know the attacker and called him “Mr. Fourth of July.”
Stand up for oneself
The girl, who was covered in bruises and cuts as she was dragged and kicked, was unaware that a video of the attack had appeared on Facebook until she was alerted by a work colleague. She showed the video to her mother, who burst into tears at what she saw.
“I tried to suppress my emotions about what happened,” Adams says. “It makes you feel vulnerable. I like to believe that I am a strong woman. In my opinion, I wasn’t that strong. It makes me feel weak.”
As is often the case with crime victims, Adams blamed herself for leaving the house so late and not leaving the store after the clerk threw the marijuana on the ground. Her friends tried to convince her that she had every right to stand up for herself. “But part of me still blames myself,” she said.
Before deciding to file a lawsuit, Adams turned to her pillars of strength – her mother and grandmother. “They said what happened to you was wrong and that you should let everyone know,” Adams said. – For me it’s not about the money. Whatever my sexual preferences are, they should not be questioned or discussed when I walk into a store.”
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