The FBI is investigating as a possible hate crime an incident in which a woman was beaten unconscious in front of her 7-year-old daughter at the entrance to a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Morrow, Georgia, south of Atlanta.
Troy Dale West Jr., 47, is facing charges including misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct after allegedly beating Army reservist Tashawnea Hill, 35, after the two had words at the entrance of the restaurant the evening of September 9.
She said Troy, pictured, punched her in the head, kicked her all the while calling her a "n*gger" and a "bitch".
Tashawnea told police the incident started when she and her daughter were entering the restaurant at the same time Troy and his wife were exiting.
"The man slung open the door pretty hard and fast and I had to push my daughter out of the way," Hill told CNN affiliate WSB-TV. "I turned to the man and I just said, 'Excuse me sir, you need to watch yourself; you almost hit my daughter in the face.' And from there it just went downhill."
He admits to hitting Tashawnea, but claims she spat on him after accusing him of trying to hit her daughter with the door.
He was charged with battery, disorderly conduct and cruelty to children, and is currently out on $5,000 bond. A hearing has been set for Sept. 24 in Clayton County.
Police said the cruelty to children charge was included because the daughter witnessed the beating.