A Stuart man is facing a hate crime charge after he reportedly told deputies he attacked a convenience store clerk Wednesday because “I don’t like Arabs.”
Jeremiah Emmanuel Hendrix, 33, was arrested following an incident inside The Family Dollar Store on Southeast Dixie Highway, just south of Southeast Indian Street. He was being held at the Martin County Jail Thursday in lieu of $40,000 bail.
Following his arrest, Hendrix allegedly confessed to the attack and told deputies he did it for “no other reason than they are (expletive) Arabs. I don’t like Arabs.”
It’s not known what nationality the clerks are.
He is facing a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon with a hate crime enhancement.
According to the sheriff’s office, the situation unfolded at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday as Hendrix was paying for items at the cash register. A store clerk told deputies Hendrix came to the store earlier in the day and became upset with the amount of taxes added to his purchases.
He reportedly screamed “You guys are trying to rob me.” He then told the clerk, “I’ll take care of you later.”
He returned about three hours later and began yelling at the clerk, deputies said. When a second clerk asked Hendrix to stop yelling, Hendrix allegedly took out a knife and slashed the clerk on his arm.
Road patrol and sheriff’s air units responded and searched until they spotted Hendrix coming out of a wooded area near Indian Street.