Note: we are republishing this story amid an ongoing nationwide conversation about race and racial justice in America.
A Missouri man was arrested for felony assault and faces hate crime charges for reportedly using racial slurs towards an African-American waitress.
Tommy Dean Gaa, 65, ordered breakfast at a local business in Maryville, Missouri, where he was waited on by an African-American employee. According to reports, the waitress first asked Gaa if he wanted white or wheat toast, to which the man responded: “I’m prejudiced. I’ll take white.”
A short time later, Gaa approached the waitress and grabbed her arm in such a way that caused her to suffer bruises. He then asked her if she “liked to party.” Gaa, according to a probable cause statement, then made a racist comment towards the woman.
“I have a place I would like to take you where I hung your grandpa,” he allegedly said. According to a police report, Gaa also made a comment about there being “good and bad” people of all races, and then reportedly used an offensive term for African Americans.
Gaa was arrested and charged with felony assault motivated by discrimination. Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rice said that while the racist remarks were bad enough, the man crossed the line when he grabbed the woman’s arm.
Gaa was released from Nodaway County Jail on $4,900 bond.