‘Can’t Go Around Just Saying That’: White Worker Fired After Hitting Black Army Veteran with Knock-Out Punch Who Chastised Him for Using the N-Word at Texas Bar

A Texas bar and grill that prides itself on being “veteran-owned with Service industry prices” is also the place where an Army veteran was sucker-punched and allegedly called the N-word by a white employee.

Derek Russaw II was standing at the bar closing out his tab at Scholars and Scoundrels in Sugar Land around 2 a.m. on July 2 when the attack occurred. Surveillance video obtained by local station ABC13 shows Russaw and a large white man in a blue shirt and baseball cap casually talking, surrounded by people. Russaw’s girlfriend, Micaela Sanchez, identified the culprit as a bar employee and told reporters he addressed Russaw with a racial slur, saying, “Hey, what’s up, N-word.”

White Worker Fired After Hitting Black Army Veteran with Knock-Out Punch at Texas Bar Who Chastised Him for Using the N-Word
Video shows moment Texas bar worker punches a man while he’s not looking. (Photo: YouTube screenshot/KRPC)

Russaw admonished him to be respectful. “He looked over at him and told him, ‘Hey man, you can’t go around just saying that, respectfully,'” Sanchez said to the local outlet.

Though the footage has no audio, it shows the unidentified man and Russaw talking in what appears to be a calm and non-confrontational manner. But when Russaw briefly looked down for a moment, the man saw his opening and punched the Army vet square in the face in a sneak attack that had such force that Russaw flew back and narrowly missed hitting his head on a high-top table.

“It makes me upset because of everything that he has been through, being an Army veteran and everything, and so it just hurts me to even watch that video. I couldn’t watch it when I first saw it,” Sanchez told a reporter through tears. She added that Russaw served in the Army for four years.

After the attack, he reported dizziness, “and like he was going to pass out,” said Sanchez, noting that he sought treatment for his injuries at a local hospital. His current condition is unknown.

Scholars and Scoundrels owners Chad M. Craig and Anthony Petronella have not commented on the incident or confirmed whether the attacker is an employee. The restaurant’s website describes it as ” locally owned and operated.”

According to news outlet Community Impact, co-owner Craig served time in the Navy. While the restaurant remains silent, an outraged public is turning to its Instagram account to share their views.

“I saw ABC13 and what the he**!! How dare that yt trash punch a vet!!? What’s up with that!?” commented one. “Wow! Very disappointed! If this is how you treat PEOPLE you should be closed‼️”

Elsewhere on social media, onlookers are curious if charges will be filed against the man in the blue shirt. “Disgusting behavior from the “man” I hope the gentleman does file charges against him. And if he was throwing around racial slurs it should be elevated to a hate crime. Enough is enough,” wrote one on Facebook. “These companies need to be careful who they hire cause this lawsuit is going to hurt,” warned another.

“Very bad action from the guy in blue, I don’t care if it’s a vet or not or have PTSD, that punch could kill that guy, you can see the huge physical differences, that was a very strong punch,” said an astute observer, referencing the unfair advantage the attacker had due to his larger size.

It’s not an overstatement to say the punch could have been deadly. A single sucker punch might result in a brain injury that leads to fatality or permanent neurological impairment.

The Sugar Land Police Department confirmed to local news that an investigation into the attack is underway. No charges have been filed yet.

However, the man who punched Russaw has since been fired, according to a report by KRPC.

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