Police in North Carolina arrested a Rocky Mount convenience store clerk accused of beating a Black man with what appeared in a video to be a wooden stick, the Rocky Mount Telegram reports.
A video purports to show Sobhi Hassan, 68, striking 56-year-old Gregory Evans with a stick on Dec. 22. Evans’ family said he was having a seizure and was incapacitated, as the clerk lashed and cursed at Evans while telling him to leave the store.
The police charged Hassan with simple assault, the Telegram reported, citing a Dec. 28 Rocky Mount Police Department news release.
Evans’ family told WRAL that he was hospitalized after the beating and was unable to move his body. The cellphone video of the incident ignited community outrage and prompted calls to shut down Princess Market after years of disrespect.
“The video was horrible to look at, to see a person treated less than a human being,” Rocky Mount resident Bronson Williams told WRAL.
Protesters started a petition to close the store that had behaved in "a negative and discriminatory way" toward them.
WRAL identified Elizabeth Hedrick as the building owner who has rented the store for years to Princess Market. She was undecided about whether to stop renting the space.
Meanwhile, Evans’ condition has improved. His sister, Edith Cooper, said Monday (Dec. 27) at a community meeting at Ebenezer Baptist Church that he was still undergoing tests for possible long-term injuries.
“He’s a little slow, and he still doesn’t have full mobility of his body at this time,” Cooper said.