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Driver accused of trying to run over Black Publix employee in Henrico

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Posted at 11:11 AM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 12:49:27-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Police are investigating after a driver was accused of trying to run over a Black Publix grocery store employee in Henrico's East End.

Police say the alleged assault occurred at the grocery store, located in the 4500 block of S. Laburnum Avenue, on July 24, 2020 at approximately 12:30 p.m.

"The complainant, who is an employee of the grocery store, reported to Henrico Police that an unknown customer had driven erratically and nearly hit the complainant in the business’s parking lot," said a Henrico Police spokesperson.

The incident sparked a rally outside of Publix on Saturday, with more than two dozen people gathering in support of a 15-year-old employee organizers said was the victim of racism.

Samantha Thompson, who organized the event, said a customer allegedly refused to have a 15-year-old Black employee bag her groceries.

Thompson, who acknowledged that she did not witness the incident, also said that customer later tried to hit the teen with her car.

After reviewing the store’s video surveillance, Henrico Police say they've identified a person of interest in the case.

"It was reported that race may have been a factor. As with any allegation, the Division will thoroughly investigate all aspects of the case," the spokesperson added.

Police say the Initial results from the evidence in the investigation have been presented to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for consideration of criminal charges.

Witnesses to this incident are asked to contact Henrico Police at 804-501-5000.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can submit a news tip here.