Miami (March 22, 2021) – State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Hialeah Police Chief Sergio Velazquez announce the charging of hate crime enhancements against 58-year-old Jennifer Susan Wright. The matter appears to have started after a shopper mentioned his Covid-19 spacing concerns to Ms. Wright in a Hialeah supermarket check-out line.
Jennifer Susan Wright is being charged with:
• Battery with Prejudice – 3rd Degree Felony
• Criminal Mischief with Prejudice – 3rd Degree Felony
• Tampering with a victim/witness – 2nd Degree Felony
“It is sad that in such a diverse, multi-ethnic community like Miami-Dade County, Covid precautions can trigger such alleged outbursts of ethnic hate. Hate crimes are always meant to demean and intimidate their
intended targets,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “I am proud that this victim would not be terrified into silence, allowing my Hate Crimes prosecutors to bring this case before our criminal courts.”
Upon leaving the store, an angry Ms. Wright allegedly confronted the victim as he loaded his groceries into his car, coming within 1 foot of the victim’s face. Again, the victim asked Ms. Wright to keep her distance which appeared to enrage her even more and allegedly led to an outburst of verbal anger including several derogatory anti-Hispanic ethnic slurs. She then allegedly took out her keys and began scratching the victim’s vehicle. The victim repeatedly told Ms. Wright to stay away and she refused. The victim’s vehicle was scratched from the trunk to the passenger rear door causing a total of $567.64 in damages. Allegedly, Ms. Wright proceeded to stab the victim’s vehicle with her keys while saying that the victim needed to go back to his country.
As the victim grabbed his phone to dial 911, Ms. Wright allegedly struck the victim with her fist, causing the victim to drop his phone on the ground. As the victim attempted to pick his phone up from the ground, Ms. Wright allegedly began to kick him and try to crush the phone to keep the victim from using it. As Ms. Wright began to leave the scene, the victim attempted to take a picture of Ms. Wright or of her vehicle’s license plate. Ms. Wright then pretended to go into a vehicle that was not hers, but then ran towards her true vehicle and fled the scene.
For media availability, please contact the Office of State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle at (305) 547-0535.
For further information, contact Ed Griffith, Public Information Officer, at (305) 547-0535 or EdGriffith@MiamiSAO.com.