A Florida man has been charged with a hate crime charge after assaulting a black bar patron and telling him that “this bar is not for blacks,” the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.
Jason Cuellar, 44, is accused of hitting a fellow bar patron in the head with a beer bottle and is facing charges of aggravated battery causing bodily harm and two counts of battery. He is being held on $21,000 bail, according to the news site.
According to the News-Journal, the incident occurred Friday night when 24-year-old Kenneth Hodge walked into the Hideout Lounge and stood next to Cuellar at the bar.
Cuellar allegedly instigated the encounter, telling Hodge “this bar is not for blacks.” Hodge ignored Cuellar, who grabbed a beer bottle and hit Hodge on the top of his head, cutting him. Hodge then wrestled Cuellar to the ground, but Cuellar fled.
The News-Journal reports that other patrons tried to stop Cuellar from getting away, but the suspect pepper-sprayed them in the eyes. Cuellar was later caught at a traffic stop.
“The aggravated battery charge was reclassified to one degree higher due to the hate crime allegation,” investigating deputies wrote in their report, according to the news site.
Read more at the Daytona Beach News-Journal.