A car buyer who told a salesman ‘take your scamming black ass back inside’ and called him a ‘fucking n*****’ has been cleared of racism.
Shelly Hueckel was cleared of ethnic intimidation Monday, after ranting at Terrance Smith over the trade-in amount offered for her old truck for at Betten Baker GMC in Lowell, Michigan, in April this year.
Hueckel is also said to have called Smith a ‘fucking n*****’ during the diatribe, which he says turned violent.
But Kent County Circuit Court Judge Paul Sullivan cleared her of racism after saying that Hueckel’s behavior was motivated by anger, rather than Smith’s race.
He branded her behavior ‘shameful and inexcusable,’ WOOD reported, but said she’d have reacted the same to a white member of staff.
Hueckel was convicted of assault and battery, a misdemeanor charge, and could face up to 93 days behind bars for that.
Smith was left speechless by Monday’s verdict, but later said: ‘How do you do this to a human being and just walk away?
‘I did nothing wrong. I didn’t even put my hand on her – I just put my hands up to block myself, she assaulted me. I don’t have any other words
Recalling how the incident allegedly started, Smith told WOOD: ‘I go outside, I let them know, “Hey, (my manager) told me the vehicle is worth $3,500,”
‘She immediately says, “Well, that’s not right. Another place was giving us $5,500.”
‘Then her husband chimes in and says, “Another place was giving us $6,100.”
Smith says the insults began before he could defend himself, and added: ‘She called me a scammer.
‘I said, “OK.”
‘I kind of left that one alone. (Then) she says, “You take your scamming black ass back inside and go get my title.”
‘I said, “Ahh, OK, I’m all done.”‘
‘As soon as I hand her her title, she backhanded me.
‘She hit me so hard (she) knocked the glasses off my face.
‘And she’s still swinging at me. In the midst of all this swinging, she’s calling me the N-word, an f-ing N-word.
‘I’ve never in my life felt so- I don’t know. It just made me really sad. To know that there’s people out there that are still like that.’
Hueckel initially faced a minor charge of misdemeanor assault and battery.
But a local newspaper report on her behavior prompted a review of the case, with charges against her subsequently upgraded to a far more serious count of felony ethnic intimidation.