DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – An North Texas woman says her civil rights were violated at an Arlington beauty supply store after she was racially profiled, falsely accused of stealing, then beaten by the store’s owner.
Ruth Jones went to Uptown Beauty Supply in south Arlington last week with her two daughters to buy hair and beauty products.
After browsing the store, she waited for her daughters at the counter. Then she got ready to pay for her purchases.
“As I’m handing him my wallet, he snatches it and throws it in a box behind the counter and said I stole the wallet,” Jones said. “I tried to go behind the counter to get my wallet, to get my ID back and he pushes me.”
The two began a scuffle as she tried to get her wallet. Jones had recently recovered from a stroke, so her daughters tried to step in, concerned for their mothers health.
“At some point, I’m on the ground and he’s choking me with his knee in my chest and I can hear my daughters yelling, ‘She had a stroke! Let her go!’ He wouldn’t let me go,” Jones said.
Her 17-year-old daughter was attacked by another unnamed employee.
Police arrived a short time later and after reviewing surveillance footage placed owner, Gyuman Lee, under arrest. He was charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.
Jones says her civil rights were violated and notified the Arlington Chapter of the NAACP and hired attorney Douglas Greene.
“This is the classic ‘shopping while black’ profiling,” Greene said. “He said ‘You people are always stealing from my store,'” Greene said referring to Lee.
Lee plans to hire an attorney and declined an interview. He bonded out of jail and is back at work.
Jones and her attorney are demanding an apology and may pursue a civil lawsuit.
“People have to understand that this conduct cannot take place here in 2013. This is just ridiculous,” Greene said.
Jones plans to boycott the store.
Jones said she and her family are still haunted by the horrifying experience.
“I was terrified. I can barely sleep at night,” she said.
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