A Florida man faces criminal charges after he pulled a knife and stun gun on a group of Muslim international students at a McDonald’s.
John Jay Smith, 60, was arrested following the incident about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday at the restaurant in St. Augustine, just south of Jacksonville.
Smith allegedly got into a verbal altercation with two men, who were eating hamburgers in the parking lot, reports First Coast News.
The arrest report from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office says Smith got into a verbal confrontation with the men, during which he pulled a knife.
One of the men, Omar Abdelmoaty, told the Washington Post he was with four other Egyptian students eating burgers and fries in the parking lot when Smith approached. All are Muslim and students from Egypt.
“We thought we were going to die,’ Abdelmoaty told the newspaper.
The men went back to their vehicle as Smith reportedly yelled at them, “get out of my country you do not deserve to eat here.” First Coast News reports one of the victims later told police Smith said “get the f*** out of here you don’t deserve American food.”
Smith, using an electric stun gun, then reached his arm inside the car in an attempt to shock two of the men, according to the report. The driver tried to pull away from Smith and backed into a pole in the parking lot, causing minor damage.
The report, notes First Coast News, states Smith may have been intoxicated. The alleged victims’ religion appears to be what fueled Smith.
“The statements made by the defendant to the victims showed that (Smith) only committed the acts due to the victim’s religion,” the officer wrote in the report. “While in the back seat of my patrol vehicle, the defendant continued to say ‘they killed my son.’ ‘my son was a marine.'”
Smith claimed his son was a Marine who died in Afghanistan while in combat, First Coast reported.
Smith faces three felony charges of aggravated assault, burglary and trespassing. He was arrested and taken to a local jail.
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