A Florida man was caught on camera brutally attacking a woman in a gas station. Seemingly unprovoked, the white male is accused of using racist language before assaulting the woman — making the crime appear to be a hate crime. Civil rights activists have called for the man to be arrested.
On Sunday, May 15, Rayme McCoy, 23, was punched in the face repeatedly by an unknown man in a green shirt and mustache in the BP gas station located at 3551 University Boulevard in Arlington neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida.
She alleges the man was already upset from an earlier altercation outside of the establishment and upon coming in shifted his attention to the Black woman, who was already at the counter.
The man was “ranting and raving” in the gas station’s convenience store. From a short distance, she could hear him using racial epithets without regard for others around.
She told First Coast News, “I went in BP to get gas and I was walking in … there was a guy arguing with an Indian guy, and when I walked around him to go inside, he came in after me and was basically yelling y’all kind, you need to go back where you came from.”
McCoy says the man came up to the counter and stood too close to her. When she asked him to step back, he threatened her by saying he had a firearm in his car — as he would use it on her.
“So, at that point, I felt threatened,” the woman said. “He put his beers on the counter in front of my stuff and I slid them over and at that point, that’s when he started punching me in the face.”
The store video shows him punching her 10 times.
The woman says she was “literally shocked” at the encounter, saying, “After the first hit, you can see my mouth drop. After actually seeing the video, it’s just shocking to see there was other people there and nobody did anything.”
The attack left McCoy feeling dizzy. She was taken to a local hospital after the assault and she was treated for cuts and bruises on her face that left her so puffed up she has refused to appear on camera for interviews.
The man’s license plate reportedly was captured by the store clerk, who later gave it to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. According to a police report of the incident, the crime is listed as “battery.” At least two witnesses saw the attack. McCoy shared with the police the man was driving an orange Chevrolet Sonic hatchback when he left the scene of the crime.
Despite the video evidence, license plate (and the information it provides), and bystander testimony, no arrest has been made, even though the JSO says there is probable cause for an arrest. The report further stated if the arresting officer cannot make contact with the man, then the office will issue a warrant for his arrest.
McCoy said, “I just hope that they actually find him and that they actually do something about it.”
On Thursday, May 19, the Jacksonville Branch NAACP released a statement expressing their outrage.
Isiah Rumlin, president of the NAACP, wrote, “The actions of the suspect in this video is completely unacceptable and appears to be racially motivated, there is absolutely no excuse for his behaviors.”
“We must move with all deliberate speed to stem the rising tide of hate crimes,” noted the Northside Coalition, another social justice organization, about the incident. “There are too many incidents and reports of verbal harassment and physical attacks against average citizens, students, and teachers.”
Ben Frazier, president of the Northside Coalition, asked at a news conference on Friday, May 20, set up to talk about this incident, “Why hasn’t this man been arrested?”
Activists are calling for the BP to be shut down because no one did anything to help McCoy.
Dignity Power executive director Tray Johns told News4, “That BP needs to be shut down!”
“It needs to be circled with Black people all day until there is no business and no gas being pumped there,” he continued. “Regardless, we need to protect our own.”
The sheriff’s office is leading the investigation and has not labeled this as a hate crime, even though he allegedly used the bigoted and racist language before striking the woman.
“I want real charges to be brought, not just something simple,” the victim said. “Like this is an actual hate crime based on everything he was saying and like screaming out, I just feel like it should be, you know, a bigger charge given to him.”