SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — A man is being charged with a hate crime for threatening a Springfield convenience store employee.
Sangamon County State’s Attorney Dan Wright announced Wednesday he has charged 44-year-old Everett Simpson with a hate crime, as well as aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon.
According to the probable cause statement, Simpson was loitering in the parking lot of Okam Quick and Easy on East Cook Street Saturday night around 11:30 p.m. A worker at the convenience store, Ghassan Alkabsh, asked Simpson to leave. Simpson then pulled out a pocketknife and told Alkabsh “go back to your country”, according to the employee. Alkabsh and Simpson were around four feet apart from each other.
Alkabsh has a dark complexion and speaks with a thick Middle Eastern accent.
Simpson admitted to officers he did pull the knife on Alkabsh, but stated Alkabsh tried to throw a juice bottle at him.
The interaction was caught on a security camera. According to the probable cause statement, the footage backs up Alkabsh’s claim. The officer who reviewed the footage said the camera does not show Alkabsh holding a juice bottle but he did have a cell phone in his hands; the worker did not appear to raise it or try to throw it at Simpson.