A Muslim food delivery driver feared for her life when a customer grabbed her by her head scarf and tried to strangle her, according to WSB-TV 2 Atlanta.
Sonya King, 29, told the station that she was making a delivery in Atlanta on Saturday for the restaurant delivery service DoorDash when she was attacked by 54-year old Richard Painter.
She said she was instructed to place the food on the counter and as she was about to leave, Painter told he wanted to give her a cash tip.
“He seemed normal. Anybody would have went in,” King told WSB-TV. “In the process of him going through his wallet, he said, ‘Oh and by the way, I’m Jesus,'” she said.
King, a married mother of four, said as she continued to walk to the door he grabbed her head scarf.
“He’s grabbing me and trying to choke me with my own niqab. I kept telling that man I’ve got kids. In the midst of me fighting him, he’s grabbing my head,” she continued. “He thought he was Jesus, but Jesus wouldn’t do that to nobody.”
King managed to grab her car keys and stab Painter in the face and body. He was arrested after King got away and called authorities.
Painter blocked the door with his couch when police arrived; once they eventually entered his home, they found him naked with “scars, marks and bruises on his head and torso,” Fox 5 Atlanta reports.
Painter was charged with battery and has been to jail before for violent crimes, per WSB-TV.
In a statement to WSB-TV, a DoorDash spokesperson said:
DoorDash takes the safety of its community extremely seriously for Dashers, consumers, and merchants. We do not tolerate violence in any form. After learning of this incident, DoorDash took action to deactivate the consumer’s account pending a full investigation. DoorDash is prepared to cooperate with law enforcement to enable them to take swift, appropriate action.
“By the love of Allah, I knew he was not going to allow that man to kill a believer,” King said.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.