A 71-year-old woman was arrested for assaulting a pregnant soldier, while her son reportedly yelled racist and homophobic slurs. Judy James Tucker, a Bibb County woman, was taken into custody on charges of small battery.
The assault took place at 8:20 p.m. on April 14 at a Macon Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen restaurant. Tucker’s attack was supposedly triggered by the issue of restaurant parking at the Riverside Drive location. Tucker, her son Robbie and her daughter Angie were involved in verbal assault on the two Army Reserve captains: Stephanie Mitchell, 34 and Treasure Sharpe, 27.
According to witness LaKeycia Ward, who recorded the incident, Mitchell and Sharpe drove around Tucker’s car as she backed into a parking space. As Mitchell and Sharpe backed their car into a parking space, Tucker’s son confronted them, saying they needed to “learn how to park” and calling them “dumb bitches.” According to arresting deputy Stephen Phipps, Tucker told Phipps that the incident started because “she [Tucker] was white and it was a race issue.” Mitchell and Sharpe are African-Americans; Tucker, her daughter and her son are Caucasian.
Tucker’s son continued the verbal assault once inside the restaurant. He reportedly called the women “black lesbian bitches.” Mitchell attempted to defuse the confrontation by asking Tucker’s son to refrain from profanity and slurs. At that point, Tucker confronted the women, telling the two that had gotten “in our way while we tried to park.” Sharpe and Ward started recording the confrontation. Tucker told Sharpe to stop recording, that she did “not have the right” to take a recording of them, and then tried to snatch Sharpe’s phone. Mitchell resisted Tucker’s assault, using her own body as a block. Then Tucker’s son went around Mitchell, put his hand on Sharpe’s arm, and tried to grab Sharpe’s phone. Mitchell inserted herself between Tucker’s son and Sharpe. Tucker said, “Do not take a picture of me.”
Phipps’ report states that Tucker then reacted with rage and tried to punch Sharpe several times, striking her in the face. Sharpe informed the Tuckers she was pregnant. The son pointed to Mitchell and said “Oh really, by her?” Phipps said that according to Sharpe’s video, neither Sharpe nor Mitchell did anything wrong. “In fact,” the deputy’s report read, “Mrs. Mitchell tried, without fail, to stop the attack on Mrs. Sharpe.”
Videos of the confrontation quickly surfaced and spread online, as the interaction went viral. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the video has over 400,000 views so far. The Daily Dot says that Facebook video of the assault has scored over 2.5 million views.
Another video of Tucker crying while being arrested was posted on Instagram.
According to The Root, Darden restaurants, which owns Cheddar’s, published a statement saying they were “appalled by the behavior” of the Tuckers, and that the family is no longer welcome at the chain. Tucker has taught art classes at various Macon colleges. Mercer University, a past employer of Tucker’s, issued their own statement: “She has occasionally taught an art class in the past, but will not be teaching at Mercer in the future,” said Kyle Sears, Mercer spokesman.
Tucker bailed out on Monday on a $650 bond. More charges may be pending.