Prosecutors are charging a Palm Bay woman with a hate crime after a spit attack at a Walmart.
The decision came Friday, along with surveillance video of the alleged incident.
Police said Nuha Al-Doaifi paused as other customers came out of a local Walmart before she entered.
The surveillance video next shows Terry Rakowski wiping spit off her face and turning to address with Al-Doaifi.
“Oh, it was wet. I had a gob in my ear, and it came down my face and on my shirt, and I used a whole pack of the wet wipes because I was grossed out,” Rakowski said.
From directly above, the surveillance video shows Al-Doaifi coming in and Rakowski going past. The video doesn’t show any spit flying, but it does show Rakowski turning toward Al-Doaifi.
From inside the store, the video shows the two facing one another and exchanging words after the alleged spitting. Then Al-Doaifi, who's from Saudi Arabia, continues inside, pushing the cart with her child, where police said she also spit toward someone else.
Finally, an officer catches up with her and handcuffs her. Police said she singled out people by their ethnicity, specifically Americans, saying, “Americans are pushing us around.”
Her attorney said the charge is unreasonable.
“There’s no indication at all from my conversation with her and her family that there’s any hatred or bias, prejudice toward American citizens,” said her attorney, Richard Austin.
The state attorney's office, after looking at the evidence Friday, formally lodged hate crime enhancements against her, which elevate the misdemeanor battery charges to felonies.
Al-Doaifi had issues with the jail over her traditional head covering. She was ordered to remove it for her mug shot to be taken. Her attorney said the public release of that picture has embarrassed Al-Doaifi and her family.
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