Skip to comments.Angry cashier attacked deaf man, police say
Posted on 10/05/2007 6:07:30 AM PDT by tuffydoodle
FORT WORTH -- A store cashier struck a deaf customer in the head with a crowbar after he mistook the man's silence for rudeness and disrespect, police said.
The cashier, Ricky Benard Young, 20, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
The customer, Cody Goodnight, 31, suffered "a large knot" on his head during the incident, which occurred Saturday at the Family Dollar Store at 4117 E. Lancaster Ave.
"I can't believe someone would hit him for not speaking," said Goodnight's mother, Kay Goodnight. "When you're deaf, you don't make a point of starting conversations with people."
Young's defense attorney, Mark Price, said Thursday that he was recently assigned the case and declined to comment.
Kay Goodnight called police after her injured son returned home from the store late Saturday morning. When officers arrived, she translated her sons story to officers using sign language, said Lt. Dean Sullivan, a police spokesman.
Cody Goodnight said he had walked several blocks from their house to the Family Dollar to buy a soft drink for his 5-year-old son. Inside the store, he put the soda on the counter to pay.
The cashier tried to speak to him but got angry when Goodnight didn't respond, Goodnight told police. The cashier threw Goodnight's change at him, scattering it on the floor.
As Goodnight picked it up, the cashier hit him in the side of the head with the crowbar, Goodnight said.
Officers went to the store, where Young immediately asked if they were there about what "happened earlier," Sullivan said. The cashier told officers that he had tried to start a friendly conversation with Goodnight but that Goodnight wouldn't acknowledge him.
At one point, Young told officers, Goodnight mumbled something that Young thought was racial in nature, Sullivan said. Young told officers he struck Goodnight because he thought Goodnight was going to assault him.
After officers told Young that Goodnight was deaf and unable to communicate verbally, Young responded "Oh," Sullivan said.
"Upon further investigation, it appeared the suspect became frustrated when the victim wouldn't respond or acknowledge his attempts to converse," Sullivan said. "He became outraged and struck the victim in an unwarranted attack." The store's surveillance tape was erased or taped over before the officers got there, Sullivan said.
A corporate spokesman for the Family Dollar Store did not return a phone message Thursday.
Cody Goodnight was treated at the hospital for his injury but still has pain in his head and neck, Kay Goodnight said Thursday.
Deaf since the age of 2, when he suffered a high fever, Goodnight speaks in guttural sounds -- "deaf speak" as his mother calls it.
His stepfather, Barry Adair, said Goodnight doesn't like talking to strangers.
"He gets embarrassed because people make fun of the way he talks," Adair said. "He's not trying to be rude or unfriendly. You just can't understand him unless you're around him a lot."
Emily Robinson, a Fort Worth deafness resource specialist, said that while it is unusual for a deaf person to be attacked, misunderstandings are common. People sometimes take deaf people for rude when they are unresponsive, she said.
"It is a really big problem," Robinson said. "Businesses should be professional and sensitive to deaf people. There are training workshops about the deaf culture and what to expect in interactions with us."
I’m kidding. sorry, I forgot the sarcasm tag.
My father is almost completely deaf (old age). When I’m out with him, I’ve noticed that some people just don’t comprehend.
“My first thought when I’m disrespected is to hit someone in the head with a crowbar.”
yeah, yeah...that is what my mom always taught me! LOL!
I like the part about the racist comment.
Young Ricky felt “dissed”.
This demands a response (in certain quarters).
Suspect there was probably also a racial component here that wasn’t mentioned in the article.
But this is clearly too much to ask of some people.
It was mentioned. Nevermind.
I believe “Family Dollar” is going to be renamed “Goodnight Dollar”. What a jackass cashier.
lemme see, he bops the guy upside the haid with a crowbar, then he erases the security tape (tampering with evidence anyone?) THEN when confroneted by the cops he plays the race card.
ought to make the libs proud.
Translation: "My client is a stupid idiot, but I can't publicly admit that right now, so I'd rather not say anything at all."
Actually, I was kidding too and now wish I hadn’t been so flip. My condolences to the deaf man and his family and prayers that there was no permanent damage. The clerk was waaaay out of line and what happened to the surveilance tape is a likely indicator that the clerk knows it too.
Just think about it. This is the reason we had to raise the minimum wage so that we could hire real correctional officers that would correct the public. Way to go Congress. The brightest and the best to our aid.
Guess that whole "The customer's always right" thing hasn't sunk in with the younger generation.
Loved his heartfelt apology, too.
What a total waste of flesh that cashier is.
Also prolly a good reason why any one with business sense would avoid hiring people that subscribe Young's "ways"...