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."
What was he doing with a crowbar at the cash register? They (the store management) apparently approved. I go to family dollar occasionally to buy toiletries and cleaning supplies but I have never found crowbars for sale
I see the racial angle now.
FREE THE FORT WORTH ONE! DOWN WITH THE MAN!
Unless in the military, I dont know of any 20 year old that deserves respect. What has a 20 year old working as a cashier done to earn respect?.....
He has a BIG crowbar....
“Young Ricky felt dissed.”
Well, hell, he should have shot the guy, not hit him with a crowbar.
How will Ricky ever hold his head up in public again? /s
The article purposely doesn't state Young's race but that sentence tells us what we want to know.
White people always act out when Blacks seem to disrespect them. /sarcasm
What a cowardly act to blindside the guy with a crowbar.
Jesse and Al will be on this and it will soon be known to all that the deaf guy is the assailant and the cashier is the victim.
Who keeps a crowbar at a register? I’ve never seen the cashiers at Wal-Mart with a crowbar—of course, I’ve never dissed one either.
No more Mr. Goodwrench!
I think this “clerk” dissed himself far more than anyone else could diss him.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing ping list
with interests in health and society
Not only was he “dissed” - he thought he heard the deaf man mutter “something racial”.
This clearly calls for a killing blow to the head with a crowbar.
Time to stop replacing the fathers with government money in a certain culture’s homes, doncha think?
I notice this cultural attribute regularly among minorities. “Aint nobody gonna diss me!!!” Last week at a cross country meet in a public park we had parents stationed to temporarily stop walkers from walking directly in front of finishing runners. Most people politely waited until there were no runners in sight. Not so a couple of empowered minority ladies who argued, fought and strutted their way in front of our runners, forcing the runners to go around them.
Hm. I find it helpful to assume that everybody is worthy of respect, unless they do something to prove otherwise.
Saves me the effort of having to decide, and I'm rarely disappointed. Interesting how that works....
That said, Mr. Young is probably not one of those who would justify my approach. In fact, I suspect he's not unknown among the local constabulary....
Ain't it great...they're forced to hire these guys.
This reminds me of something that happened to me in a restaurant bathroom.
I went in to change the baby’s diaper. While I was in the handicap stall where the changing table was, someone came in and tried to get into the stall. They made some sort of sound and went into another stall.
Well the baby was really messy, and I needed to wash my hands before I put her clothes back on, so I grabbed her up with my arms, trying not to use my hands and headed to the sink, leaving the clothes temporarily on the changing table.
While I was at the sink, and just as I was heading back to the stall, I see the person that had come in leave her stall and make a beeline toward the stall I was in. She must have felt the vibration of my door shutting when I left and really wanted to get into that stall.
I was saying, “Excuse me, Excuse me, I need to get back into the stall to get my baby’s clothes”, but she didn’t acknowledge me. (That’s when I grabbed a plunger and whacked her over the head:) Then it suddenly dawned on me with how she was feeling around to get into the stall that she was not only deaf but blind.
I hated to do it but I had to maneuver past her and get my baby’s clothes out before she could get in there. She made some kind of noise when I did this.
Anyway, it was a good thing I did get my baby’s clothes out of there, because I went back to the table, within eyesight of the bathrooms’ main door and she didn’t come out for about 20 minutes.
I don't see Family Dollar paying enough to be choosy about employees.
Ricky probably mistook Cody’s ASL for the wrong gang sign.
You handled a sticky situation really well, except of course the beating with the plunger. ;)