On Wednesday March 25, 2015 former St. Louis Cardinal baseball player Curt Ford may have been a victim of a hate crime.
Ford, 54, ?played as an outfielder for the Cardinals for four seasons 1985-1988, including their World Series run to the World Series in 1987. Ford rmanaged the Springfield, Missouri “Sliders,” a collegiate baseball team, during the summer of 2010.
The attack took place at a Petro Mart gas station in Fenton, Missouri. Fenton is a Saint Louis suburb about 29 miles south of Ferguson. The suspect’s name is James Street; he was arrested shortly after the incident. Street is being held on a $15,000 bond. According to the police report Street told Ford:
?Go back to Ferguson, you n*gger.?
Here is how the events unfolded according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The incident began at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday as Street and Ford approached the same gas pump from different directions. Ford backed up and proceeded to another pump while the second vehicle continued through, past the pump and pulled into a parking spot directly in front of the store, police said.
When Ford exited his vehicle, Street got out of his car and began shouting racial slurs. Street then entered the store, and Ford tried to avoid a confrontation, police said. Ford then walked toward the front of the store to pay for his gas. Street was exiting the store when he approached Ford, and unprovoked, punched him in the face, and drove away, according to police.
Prosecutors charged Street with one count of assault motivated by discrimination in the third degree, a class D felony. His criminal history includes guilty pleas for possession of marijuana and assault.
An unidentified witness who saw the aftermath of the attack described Street as a ?huge? man. He said he snapped pictures of Street’s car. He also witnessed Street yelling at his female getaway driver because she drove out in front of the gas station instead of the back. The witness also saw several other witnesses helping Ford after the attack. They gave him ice?and?called the police. There also appears to be surveillance video of the incident, although its existence has not been confirmed.
Ford told the Post-Dispatch:
?I was sucker-punched, blindsided,? Ford said. ?I was walking into the store and hit from my blind side.?
?I’m going to let the authorities handle this situation.”?Ford said in a phone interview Thursday.”
“I just want justice. It’s all I want.”
Ford is one of many who are becoming weary from?racial issues in the area.
?I’ve had enough of St. Louis,? Ford, 54, told the outlet. ?You hear about this kind of stuff happening, and I always knew it existed because of my previous experience working here in St. Louis, but you try to keep away from it and there is just no way you can do that unless you stay inside like a hermit.?
Watch the video below.