A Florida bargoer was charged with a hate crime over the weekend after he was accused of attacking a black man with a beer bottle and then pepper-spraying other patrons because they were trying to stop him.
According to The Daytona Beach News-Journal, 24-year-old Kenneth Hodge had only been in the Hideout Lounge for a few moments on Friday when 44-year-old Jason Cuellar ordered the African-American man to leave.
A charging document stated that Cuellar told Hodge that “this bar is not for blacks.”
When Hodge ignored Cuellar, the suspect reportedly broke a beer bottle over the victim’s head, causing a laceration. Hodge wrestled Cueller to the ground, but Cueller was able to break free.
The arrest report also said that Cuellar pepper-sprayed two bar patrons who tried to stop him from assaulting Hodge.
Cueller fled the scene. Deputies later caught up with him at a stoplight.
Cueller was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail on charges of aggravated battery causing bodily harm and two counts of battery. He was being held in lieu of $21,000 bond.
“The aggravated battery charge was reclassified to one degree higher due to the hate crime allegation,” deputies noted in the arrest report.
March 3, 2015