Louisville police are investigating an attack in a Kroger parking lot that left a disabled military veteran with a broken nose after an altercation on Mother's Day.
Pamela Ahlstedt-Brown was beaten after she addressed the occupants of a car that were blocking her from leaving her parking spot, Wave 3 News reported.
I get out and I say, "Do you guys need any help?" and she said, "F*** you, you white b****." I said, "Hold on, you don’t even know me.” I said, "That’s fine. If you don’t need anything, that’s fine. I’ll get back in the car."
She said the passengers of the vehicle were four black women and that after their aggressive comments, they proceeded to throw a cup at her and beat her.
She said she was in a fetal position during the attack, trying to protect her eyes.
Strangers were able to intervene and break up the incident, but not before Ahlstedt-Brown suffered a broken nose.
Ahlstedt-Brown's husband Edward told Wave 3 News about the impact the assault had on him and their children:
It’s hard for us because we all feel like, well what if we would have been there? It makes you feel helpless. It was terrible for them and for me to have their mom come home in that condition.
After the attack, Ahlstedt-Brown said she is heartbroken, anxious, and has had nightmares but that she is grateful to have made it back to her family alive.
She and her husband, who are in an interracial marriage and have biracial children, said they believe that race might have played a part in the assault. She is afraid a similar attack could occur if the perpetrators are not caught.
“I could have been killed, but I know how to protect myself,” she said. “I mean, I’m a strong person... It doesn’t mean everybody is this strong.”
Louisville police said that it will be up to the courts to determine if the attack would be classified as a hate crime, according to the Washington Examiner.
A spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Police Department said:
We’re gonna collect all the evidence, present it in court, and they will decide. A hate crime is an enhancement, in this case, it’s an assault is where we are at at this time. The courts will eventually decide that.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program for hate crimes reveals that hate crime offenses from black people increased by nearly 15 percent nationally since 2015. There were 1,336 known black offenders in 2015 and 1,532 in 2019.