ATLANTA – An alleged assault on a female Muslim food delivery driver has advocates pushing for a stronger sentence.
Police say that they were called to a scene on South Grand Avenue on the afternoon of Saturday, May 5. There they met a Door Dash delivery who told them she was assaulted.
The woman, 29-year-old Sonya Kristina King, said that she entered the home of 55-year-old Rick Painter to drop off his lunch.
She said as she tried to leave the home, Painter grabbed her by her headdress and attempted to grab her by the neck. She responded by hitting him on his face and body with her keys.
When police entered the home, they say they discovered Painter had blocked the door with a couch. They found Painter naked with “scars, marks, and bruises on his head and torso.”
Painter has been charged with a count of misdemeanor battery, which the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said was too light of a charge.
“He’s a 6-foot-tall man who allegedly tried to strangle a 5-foot-tall woman to death with her own religious attire,” CAIR-Georgia Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said. “If Ms. King hadn’t fought back, she might not be alive today.”
CAIR-Georgia is calling for tougher chargers and the cancellation of Painter’s $5,000 bond, arguing that the alleged attack should be examined to see if it was triggered by a bias against Muslims.
“Painter, who has a criminal record and was described by one of his neighbors as a “racist,” declared himself to be “Jesus” during the attack,” CAIR-Georgia said.
The Atlanta Police Department has not currently made any changes to Painter’s charges or bond.