A white couple used racist slurs and attacked an interracial couple in northeast Columbia last week, sending them to the hospital, according to a police report.
The attack happened April 10 in the Dollar Tree parking lot at 8921 Two Notch Road, a Richland County deputy said in the report. That’s about a mile away from Interstate 77.
It’s the second crime by white people against an interracial couple in the past three weeks in Richland County, according to police reports.
Deputies met the female victim at the hospital, where she told them she and her boyfriend were cut off at a red light on Two Notch Road by the white couple in a Mercedes C-Class.
The interracial couple pulled into the Dollar Tree parking lot, and the white couple followed them, according to the report. A white man got out of the Mercedes, cursed and called her boyfriend a “n-----.” The white man kicked and dented the door of the interracial couple’s car.
The Black man tried to take a picture of the Mercedes’ license plate but the attacker snatched his phone, according to the report. He assaulted the Black man and threw him to the ground, injuring him. The victim’s girlfriend got out the car to help her boyfriend and the woman in the Mercedes jumped out and attacked her, throwing her to the ground and taking her phone, the report said. The attackers ran back to their Mercedes and drove off.
Witnesses saw the attack, took video and called police. A witness followed the attackers when they drove off and saw them stop about a mile away, where the woman got out of the car and ran into a wooded area.
Paramedics transported both victims to a hospital, the report said. The male victim had major injuries, including multiple cuts, and underwent surgery. The female victim had minor injuries.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department hasn’t announced an arrest in the case. Along with assault, police reports indicate that deputies will charge at least one attacker with robbery and property damage.
Another crime against an interracial couple by two white men happened about three weeks ago, according to police.
Two white men threatened an interracial couple, a white woman, 27, and a Black man, 23, with a gun on March 21 on Main Street, according to a Columbia Police Department spokesperson. The couple was not injured.
An image released by police shows the white men’s vehicle with a “Three Percenters” flag. The “Three Percenters” are a right-wing militia that has in recent years targeted political leftists, Muslims and immigrants, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s website.
Police highlighted the flag in both video and witness statements, according to the news release.