A 21-year-old woman faces hate-crime charges after she repeatedly spat at a Walmart customer, and later proclaimed that “Americans are pushing us around,” according to police in Florida.
Nuha Mohammed Al-Doaifi, a Saudi Arabian national, faces a charge of battery with a hate-crime enhancement after Palm Bay police were called on Sunday to a Wal-Mart to investigate reports of a disturbance.
The hate-crime enhancement means that the battery charge could be elevated to a felony.
According to CBS affiliate WKMG, police said the incident started when Al-Doaifi attempted to roll a shopping cart into the store and struck the exit door.
A customer told her she was using the wrong door, prompting Al-Doaifi to allegedly spit in the person’s face before turning and walking into the store to go shopping, police said.
“Her actions were directed at random people based on their ethnicity, and that’s according to her own statement,” police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez told WKMG.
Witnesses said Al-Doaifi, accompanied by her 2-year-old son, also spit at another customer who apparently got too close to her. Several officers approached Al-Doaifi to talk in the store and asked her why she spat at customers.
“Americans are pushing us around,” Al-Doaifi stated before officers took her into custody, according to reports.
She was arrested and booked into the Brevard County Detention Center in Sharpes where she remained jailed on Monday.
“She’s also had an incident with one of her Florida Tech professors,” Martinez told the station. “She also spat at the professor. They have initiated procedures to have her sent back to Saudi Arabia.”