On Saturday morning, Kontina Gray said 70-year-old Jack Anderson confronted her with a knife at Mini Storage Solutions on Farmington Road.
In 2012, Anderson was arrested for aggravated assault in Peoria. This weekend Anderson was reportedly yelling racial slurs from his car before getting out and threatening violence.
Gray said Anderson pulled up near her while she was at her storage unit and asked how long she would be. When she replied that she just pulled in, Gray said Anderson got out of his car and came at her with a knife, yelling those slurs Gray described.
“There’s no excuse for this behavior, when you have biases against another person for gender or race,” said Peoria County Sheriff, Brian Asbell.
“It’s absolutely outrageous! A 70-year-old white male confronting an African American female because he was angry,” said Don Jackson, with the NAACP. The NAACP works to combat racism in Peoria.
“I’m not surprised that this is going on in the community; not only in our community, it’s happening across the country at this point in time,” stated Jackson.
Asbell said while hate crimes are serious, the consequences can vary.
“A hate crime is a felony. Felonies are punishable to over a year in prison […] Previous convictions are going to push it up to a higher class of a felony,” said Asbell.
The State’s Attorney makes the decision on whether to charge someone with a hate crime, but both Asbell and Jackson want the public to know there is no excuse for this.
“We have to let the public know that this won’t be tolerated. Will that deter another person from doing this? Sometimes,” said Asbell.