I am a 54 year old African American man, living in a rural central Pennsylvania town called Everett. The population is less than one percent African American, as well is, my place of employment. On July 15, 2013, I and a friend (who is white), entered an often frequented establishment for a beverage, a game of pool, and a snack. When my friend attempted to put his quarters up on the pool table to gain a spot in the rotation of a game of pool, a white patron wearing a biker vest told him he didn't like him or the person he entered with (me). The white patron explained he didn’t like my friend because he was well dress (pressed khakis and a collared shirt) and he didn't like me because I was black. After the white patron yelled the n-word more than 10 times, I convinced my friend for him and me to just leave this establishment. As we walked out the door and step outside, the white patron and his white friend followed us outside. The patron who yelled the N word more than 10 times inside, then reached into his boot (below the knee level boot), as though he was reaching for a weapon. He then said he would make a phone call to have 150 people here quickly to hang me. At this point I felt my life was in danger and my constitionual and civil rights had been violated. I reached for my cell phone to call the police and realized I had left it on the table in the bar. I knew I had to go back inside to retrieve my phone and come out safely. Upon re-entering the establishment, the perpetrator approached me again and was only inches from face. He said"he grew up in this town and never had to deal with (the Nword...again!). I politely asked the man to leave me alone and not to block the door way so I could leave. The perpetrator move even closer to my face and yelled more expletives while spitting on the left side of my face. I reacted by pushing him to the ground and punching him while he was on the ground. His friend began sneaking up behind me with a pool stick in a swinging motion to hit me from behind. My friend grabbed the pool stick and pushed him down.
The saddest part of this story is as follows: My friend and I returned outside of the establishment and waited for the police. When the police arrived the officer spoke with me first and I relayed the story to him as I have in this very narrative. The officer went to speak to the two harassers and returned to me saying everyone will receive a charge of disorderly conduct in the mail within 10 days. Five days later I received in the mail 2 charges of harassment and 1 charge of disorderly conduct. I pled not guilty to the 2 harassment charges and guilty to the disorderly as to take some responsibility for being involved in a physical altercation in a public place.
On 8/12/13, in the court of Magistrate Cathy Calhoun I was found guilty of all charges and threatened with jail time. I received a heavy fine and the actual harassers got off free. The Magistrate did not care about me being threatened, harassed, spit on and followed. She totally ignored my plea for help and fairness. It is my hope and prayer someone can assist me in the appeal of this conviction and shine a spot light on the injustice done to me, my rights and the partial court system in Bedford County, Everett PA.
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