Chicago man charged after racial confrontation at Starbucks

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A Chicago man was charged this week with misdemeanor battery after an apparent racially charged altercation caught on video at a Starbucks, CNN reported.

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Police said William Boucher, 23, became angry when someone spilled a beverage on him shortly after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at a Starbucks in Chicago’s Loop. The incident spilled onto the sidewalk where Boucher spat on a 30-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman, police said.

On cell phone video of the altercation, Boucher can be heard yelling “Shut up slave. Do not talk to me,” at a black man, WABC reported.

Boucher, who is white, also punched a 59-year-old man in an unprovoked incident, authorities said. The man was taken to the hospital with an eye injury, WLS reported.

Boucher has been charged with three counts of misdemeanor battery, police said. Boucher could not be reached for comment, CNN reported.

“We have absolutely no tolerance for this type of behavior in our stores, and are grateful to the (employees) and customers who stepped in to help until officers arrived,” a Starbucks spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

A WLS photographer recorded a video of the incident, CNN reported.

In the video, Boucher said: “You’re disgusting,” to an unidentified man after the coffee-spilling incident in the Starbucks.

In the store, a Starbucks employee appears to intervene, standing between the two men.

“I was shocked because I thought it was going to…end right there, security was going to come, the cops were going to show up,” Juan Torres, a Starbucks employee, told WLS.

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Outside, Boucher walked up to an unidentified black man videotaping the incident. Two bystanders stepped in between the men, according to the video.

“Your children are disposable vermin,” Boucher said to the unidentified black man before walking away.

Boucher then made his “shut up, slave” comment to a second unidentified black man who approached him, CNN reported.

“Get on all fours right. Don’t walk off on two legs,” Boucher then said, according to the video.

Boucher then walked away. Shortly after, he was seen punching another unidentified man, who fell to the ground, CNN reported. 

Boucher is scheduled to appear in court on July 5.

 


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