JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County court documents are providing more details about an attack last week at an Arlington gas station that was captured on video.
The attack that happened on May 16 at a gas station on University Boulevard was recorded from store surveillance video and shared with News4JAX by the 23-year-old victim, Rayme McCoy, who is Black.
The man accused of attacking the woman, 59-year-old Kevin Williamson, was arrested Friday on a misdemeanor charge of battery.
Note: News4JAX does not typically release the names and mugshots of those charged with misdemeanors but did in this case because of the notoriety the incident has received.
McCoy told News4JAX that she walked into the gas station near her home and was followed by an older white man who was already involved in an argument with someone outside.
McCoy said the man was “ranting and raving” and using “racist” language and that at one point, the man walked toward the counter where McCoy was standing and she asked him to back up. That’s when the man said he had a gun in his car, McCoy said.
Video shared with News4JAX, which does not contain audio of the exchange, shows the man with a mustache and a green shirt punching McCoy in the face at least 10 times before he walks out of the store. The video was also posted on social media and shared thousands of times.
Warning: The video below contains images that some might find disturbing.
Williamson’s redacted arrest report, which News4JAX obtained Monday, suggests police were watching Williamson once a battery warrant was issued. According to the report, officers attempted to find him on Friday at his house in a neighborhood off McDuff Avenue, but a neighbor told police that he had left around 6 p.m.
Later, the report shows, police saw a car pull into his driveway and then initiated a “high-risk traffic stop.” Williamson was taken into custody without incident, the report states.
Once in custody, the report shows, he made some kind of spontaneous utterance, but it was redacted from the report.
News4JAX on Tuesday obtained the unredacted arrest report, and it shows Williamson’s spontaneous utterance to police was, “Did you watch the whole video? She hit me first.”
Williamson said that the woman attacked him and stated that he “was in a Black town and asked what else was he supposed to do,” according to the report. Williamson said the woman was screaming at him, “stating that he was racist because of how he spoke to an ‘Iranian gentlemen’ outside,” according to the report. Williamson said the woman knocked several canned items off the counter, hitting him in the side and foot, and he stated, “That is what set him off,” according to the report. He said that he then struck her three times with an open hand on the side of her head and told police that he did not make any racial statements toward the woman, the report said.
News4JAX on Tuesday also obtained the arrest warrant, which contains reference to another racial comment. When Williamson came into the store to buy beers, the woman, after hearing his comments to the man outside, asked him to back away from her because he was standing too close, the warrant said. Williamson said words to the effect about her being “those people,” and told her he had a gun in his car and to not mess with him, according to the warrant. The woman yelled at Williamson that if he grabbed his gun or hit her, she would have someone come to the gas station to protect her, the warrant shows. They started to argue, according to the warrant, and at one point, Williamson “would not back away,” so the woman slapped a can of beer onto the ground. Williamson then “immediately started punching” her in the face several times and fled the store.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said it was able to recover the store surveillance video, but there was no audio to it, so what Williamson said was not recorded.
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Williamson was arrested Friday night, had his first appearance Saturday, posted $20,000 bond and was released Saturday night. In court Saturday, Williamson asked for his bond to be reduced to nothing, but the judge denied it.
Records show Williamson has been a registered sex offender for over 30 years. Court records show he is a registered sex offender and had a repeat domestic violence injunction filed against him that was later dismissed. There were two aggravated assault charges, one of which was with a deadly weapon, and both were dropped, court records show.
Community activists have called for hate crime charges to be filed. On Monday, Ben Frazier, with the Northside Coalition, said they are asking State Attorney Melissa Nelson to meet with them to discuss upgrading the battery charge from a misdemeanor to a felony or adding charges.
On Tuesday, attorney John Phillips said Frazier said they will hold a news conference on Wednesday about the attack.
The Law Offices of Phillips & Hunt said it’s seeking additional witnesses and “will provide correspondence where an escalation of charges is being sought.” The office said it will be filing suit on behalf of its client, McCoy.