A Wisconsin community is calling on police to bring hate crime charges against a man who assaulted a Black family outside a grocery store in Madison last week. More than 5,000 people have signed the online petition after news of the assailants’ actions made headlines.
According to madison365.com, the assault in question transpired last Thursday outside a Woodman’s Markets. Toshiana Northington, a 32-year-old mom, was reportedly dropping her kids off at the front door of the store to avoid the rain when 65-year-old David Lythjohan became enraged that her decision was holding up traffic. According to Northington, she waved to Lythjohan, signaling that she needed a minute, but she was met with racial slurs and vitriol. Lythjohan was reportedly waiting to pick up his wife from the front.
When the mom started to make her way to a parking spot, she says Lythjohan began maneuvering his car as to block her in. He then proceeded to exit his vehicle, heading straight for Northington’s car door. Lythjohan punched her driver’s side window, opened Northington’s door and then began punching her, according to Northington’s account, which Lythjohan denies. Her only defense, she says, was to lean back and begin kicking him to stop the assault.
Northington told police that her 11-year-old son saw what was transpiring and attempted to come to the rescue of his mother. That’s when Lythjohan grabbed the child by his neck and punched him in the nose. Northington’s 4-year-old daughter was also present. She says Lythjohan grabbed her and pushed her to the ground. Northington claims the encounter left her injured and unable to properly conduct her job as a phlebotomist.
Police were called to the scene and arrested Lythjohan after reviewing surveillance of the attack. He was released later that evening on a $650 bond. Lythjohan, who is said to have a history of theft, burglary and battery, was charged with assault and battery, according to the change.org petition. Supporters say it’s simply not enough.