A Chesterfield County, Va., man is facing multiple charges after police say he dragged a black woman out of her car and attacked her based on her race and then later spat on officers as he was being arrested.
Matthew R. Ellis, 27, is facing charges of abduction and kidnapping, two counts of assault and battery of a police officer, assault and battery that caused bodily injury in a hate crime, attempted breaking and entering, and reckless driving in the incident that occurred May 3, according to WRIC.
According to the report, the woman was in her vehicle, waiting to make a turn, when a vehicle pulled up beside her and Ellis began shouting at her. The woman decided to change her course and turned in the opposite direction in an effort to avoid him, according to police.
Ellis, however, followed the woman and actually hit the rear of her car with his own vehicle before getting out and opening the driver’s side door of the woman’s car and dragging her out, authorities say.
The victim was, fortunately, able to escape, breaking free with the help of two other men and running into a nearby building, where the employees locked the door.
The suspect tried to force his way into the building, but the same two men who had helped the victim were able to restrain Ellis until police arrived, officials say.
Once officers got to the scene and started to arrest Ellis, he spat on two officers, police say.
“The investigation indicates that Ellis assaulted the victim because she is black,” Chesterfield police spokeswoman Liz Caroon wrote in an email to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Caroon declined to provide what Ellis may have said or done that led police to the conclusion that the attack was racially motivated, citing a pending trial. Caroon noted that the woman and Ellis did not know each other, although online and court documents indicate that the two live in the same apartment community, according to the Times-Dispatch.
Ellis is currently being held without bail at Riverside Regional Jail, pending a June 5 court appearance.