Black Business Owner Target Of Sacramento Hate Crime

Sacramento police are investigating a business break-in as a hate crime after the suspect allegedly went on a racist rant targeting a black business owner in Old Sacramento.

Video Transcript

- And out of this, a business break-in with an added twist. The suspect, accused of going on a racist rant that turned violent. His target, a Black business owner in Old Sacramento.

- CBS13's Velena Jones spoke with the victim. She's live with her terrifying encounter. Velena.

VELENA JONES: Well, as you can imagine, the owner here at Blossom Bathhouse is still shaken tonight. She just opened this business late last year, and she's already looking at thousands of dollars worth of damages. But it's why she was targeted that hurts the most.

JAZMINE BONNETT: It just happened so fast.

VELENA JONES: Jazmine Bonnett was walking to her car to pay the meter Thursday afternoon when she says this man started verbally assaulting her.

JAZMINE BONNETT: B-word, n-words, talked about my hair. "You Black women with your weaves."

VELENA JONES: Bonnett own Blossom Bathhouse in Old Sacramento.

JAZMINE BONNETT: I put all this work in it.

VELENA JONES: Trying to get away from the man, she walked back to the store. That's when she says things escalated.

JAZMINE BONNETT: We did a tug of war with a door. I locked it and then that's when he just went full throttle.

VELENA JONES: Boarded-up windows show where the man police identify as 55-year-old Ross Wolfer smashed glass, breaking through the shop, injuring Bonnett as he continued yelling racial slurs.

JAZMINE BONNETT: To see the hatred and the evil that was in his eyes as he's kicking a window and pushing his foot through a window to get to me, I thought he might kill me, honestly.

VELENA JONES: Witnesses ran to help, including Mary Mundling, who works at a nearby jewelry store.

MARY MUNDLING: We're all a big community out here.

VELENA JONES: Wolfer who ran away as some nearby followed after him. Police, eventually arresting the man.

MARY MUNDLING: He made it an issue for the police. He was like, egging them on. The first police officer did have her taser out, and she didn't have to go back.

VELENA JONES: Despite the physical damage, it's his words causing the most pain.

JAZMINE BONNETT: I was born with my skin color, proud of my skin color. To know that someone would want to attack me just because of that, that's scary.

VELENA JONES: Beyond the scars and shattered glass, Bonnett's dream of a booming business are stronger than ever.

JAZMINE BONNETT: But I'm resilient. I'm going to keep going.

VELENA JONES: Bonnett says Wolfer admitted to investigators to be on drugs at the time of the break-in. He's now facing charges related to vandalism, burglary, and a hate crime.