OAK PARK, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago man has been arrested on a felony hate crime charge and aggravated assault after he allegedly hurled racial slurs and spit at a Black woman outside a Jewel grocery store earlier this month.
Alberto Friedmann’s attorney denies that his 53-year-old client used any racial language during the Sept. 7 incident outside the store in the community of Oak Park where Friedmann lives.
According to court documents, the woman was with her 7-year-old daughter at the time of the incident. The two were inside their car and parked alongside the traffic lane in the parking lot, between the row of cars and the store.
The woman claims she heard someone honking and yelling racial slurs from a car behind her. She motioned for the car to drive around her and said the driver approached her car on foot and continued to yell racial slurs and her and her daughter. The woman said she attempted to leave her car but Friedmann reportedly pushed the car door closed and spit in the woman’s face. Court documents say he said he spit on her because “he doesn’t like black people.”
The altercation continued when Friedmann attempted to leave the parking lot. The woman threw a water bottle at his car to try and prevent him from leaving.
Witnesses attempted to intervene and the police were called.
Friedmann was placed into custody.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports Friedmann is a health science professor.
The judge ordered Friedmann be released from custody on $2,500 bail after a prosecutor detailed the incident in which Friedmann also allegedly slammed his vehicle into the woman’s car.