A South Florida anesthesiologist has been arrested and charged with a hate crime for assaulting a Hispanic man outside a supermarket, according to news outlets citing police reports.
The Miami Herald reports that Dr. Jennifer Susan Wright, 58, of Miami had become enraged after the man asked her in Spanish to keep her distance due to COVID-19 guidelines while waiting in line at a supermarket in Hialeah.
Wright ignored him, so he repeated it in English. She responded by “mumbling bad words,” the newspaper said, citing an arrest report. Wright then walked up to him in the parking lot and - after he asked her to back up - she hurled racial and other insults at him.
The arrest report said Wright also proceeded “to stab the victim’s vehicle with her keys while saying he needed to go back to his country” and punched and kicked the man. Officials said the attack took place Jan. 20, when President Joe Biden took office.
Wright has been charged with criminal mischief, tampering with a victim and battery with prejudice, under the state’s hate crime law.
The doctor was arrested on Friday and later posted bond. Several online listings show her affiliated with the Mount Sinai Medical Center.
“The allegations made against Dr. Wright are simply not true," Wright's attorney, Carlos F. Gonzalez, said in a statement. "We look forward to discrediting this ugly attack against our client that is filled with lies and twisted information to fit someone else’s political agenda.”
Mount Sinai Medical Center released a statement saying their "top priority is the safety of our patients, visitors and employees," adding that Wright is "no longer responsible for patient care pending the completion of a full investigation."