An Oklahoma man who was already out on bond for rape charges was arrested on Monday, Aug. 23, after he was filmed yelling racial slurs at a Black teenager and threatening to kill her.
Payton Heird, the 22-year-old suspect, also is accused of throwing rocks during the encounter and spitting in the face of 18-year-old Zuria Hurst, who was hanging out with friends at the popular local hangout Baker’s Bridge, which spans a swimming hole in the Oklahoma City suburb of Guthrie, in the early hours of Sunday, Aug. 22.
Hurst said Heird’s screaming and use of racial slurs prompted her to begin filming the situation, but when he spit in her face and threw rocks at her she called the police.
“He starts yelling the N-word. He spits in my face and then he starts throwing rocks,” Hurst told 9News. “It all happened within 15 minutes. As soon as he threw the rocks, I called police.”
During the call with dispatchers Hurst explained, “I just got like hit by a rock … this guy’s being like really racist … he threw a rock at me … so I need help.”
Footage shows Heird saying, “C’mon, you wanna film?” Other people held Heird back from attacking Hurst as he repeatedly used the N-word.
Heird was charged with two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in 2017 and was out on bond at the time of last Sunday’s incident.
Guthrie Police arrived on the scene at about 1 a.m. Heird got away from police initially but was found later in a truck driven by another individual, which officers pulled over. There was a loaded gun in the vehicle.
Police say Heird was drunk at the time and he threatened to shoot Hurst. The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
“Had he chose to go back to the vehicle and pull out the weapon we could be investigating a homicide,” said Sgt. Anthony Gibbs.
Hurst said she was hit in the temple with a rock although not seriously injured. She said she ran away when Heird said he was leaving to retrieve a gun.
Heird has been charged with threatening an act of violence, carrying a firearm while under the influence of an unlawful and unprescribed drug, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, as well as a hate crime and public intoxication. He posted a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in September.
“I didn’t feel like I was worthless, but it just made me feel like I was disgusting,” Hurst said. “I have never had any hate crime happen to me.”