I have tweeted a great deal about this. I have left a facebook update too. I intend to repeat what is already out there in cyberspace, tying all the pieces together and adding some additional information. I think it constitutes a hate crime but others might disagree.
The offender was caught on CCTV and two police officers called an hour or so after they had driven me home. They told me that the store manager had given them the tape and stills of his face has been distributed to their colleagues. These two officers do not recognise him, nor do I, nor does my one witness. But I suspect he will be identified and if he has a police record will be in serious trouble. If he does not already have a police record, then maybe he will not be traced. I am going to blog about why I think he has to be traced.
This individual needs to be caught because he assaulted me in broad daylight, with at least one witness watching him in a supermarket premises which he must have known would have security cameras. I believe that when his behavior was challenged by this witness, he also will have noticed one of the cameras on him and my shouting for help brought the attention of others walking in the opposite direction.
Had I had no witness, had there been no one for me to call out to for help, and had there been no CCTV camera, I believe he would not have limited himself to one kick in my testicles. I believe he would have kicked me repeatedly while I was on the ground.
This guy knew I was disabled. He was mocking me in public because I was struggling for breath. I challenged him, asking him if he thought such abuse of someone for being disabled was appropriate. I honestly hoped to persuade him to behave himself. It never occured to me that he would up the ante from verbal abuse to kicking me in the testicles for complaining at what he was doing.
Given that the only reason he subjected me to first verbal abuse then physical assault was my having a disability, I consider this constitutes a hate crime. And if he is charged, and pleads not guilty, I will give evidence and try to justify my assertion that this was a hate crime.
As I say, the store had security cameras, at least one of which caught the incident and his face is clearly identifiable. My witness hung around for half an hour for the police to turn up to take a statement, for which I am extremely grateful. Several others gave statements to the store manager as they came to my assistance after he kicked me to the ground.
I was taken to an ambulance, blood sample, pulse and temperature taken. The paramedics said they didn’t think I needed to be taken to hospital. I would not have wanted to go. The actual kick in the testicles was not as hard as it could have been. I have had this before when the thug really wanted to damage me. Whether this kick was intended simply to intimidate me to stop complaining about his verbal abuse or whether he simply miscalulated the force necessary to hurt me, or whether he pulled back because he realised the incident might be caught on CCTV, I can’t say.
Whatever the reason for the relatively light kick in the balls, the fact remains this WAS a physical assault following long verbal abuse due to my gasping for breath as a result of a physical disability. If that is not a hate crime I am not sure what is. I think he needs to be prosecuted because if nothing is done he is likely to think he can get away with this again.
While it is true that I was not permanently damaged, he should have realised from my difficulty to breathe that I could have had a serious heart condition, which I don’t. He was between 20 and 30 years of age, taller than me, and looked physically fit. I am a lot older, and do not look fit these days. If I did have a heart attack, being confronted like this and then kicked in the testicles could have proven much more serious than he intended.