O'Fallon man charged with hate crime in Walmart incident

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 | 3:54 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Boone County prosecutors have decided to charge Michael Garrett Pezold with committing a hate crime for his role in an October incident at Walmart.

Pezold, 20, was scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday on a felony charge of third-degree assault. The charge stems from an Oct. 29 incident in which police say Pezold and his brother attacked black families coming out of the Walmart at 3001 W. Broadway.


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Third-degree assault is normally a misdemeanor, but under Missouri law certain misdemeanors can be "enhanced" to felony charges if prosecutors think the crimes were motivated by race. With the hate crime enhancement, Pezold could now face up to four years in prison if convicted.

Pezold's brother, James Robert Pezold, 25, can't be charged with the hate crime enhancement because the charges against him are felonies already. He is charged with first-degree tampering, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer and four counts of first-degree assault.

James Pezold received a continuance for his first preliminary hearing yesterday. He is set to appear again Dec. 2 at 9 a.m.

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Aaron Ikeman November 25, 2009 | 9:23 a.m.

Blacks can attack whites all day long and never be charged with a hate crime. Charging Pezold with a hate crime is indeed a hate crime within its self.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr November 25, 2009 | 11:54 a.m.

Aaron Ikeman I have to agree with you on that point of one is entitled to attack the other but if the other does it first they are not entitled at all.

Such a contradiction isn't it in our community where we are supposed to be so diverse.

(Report Comment)
Silver Smith November 27, 2009 | 9:42 p.m.

Indeed Charles, the words being spoken today “Diversity is our Strength” is equal to the death of any country that celebrates it. History has proven this time and time again. With hate crimes legations and what Thomas Jefferson wrote that “All men are created equal” has become a total farce and has absolutely no meaning in today’s society. It was remarked by a man of genius that “ignorance lies at the two ends of knowledge”. Perhaps it would have been more correct to have said, that absolute convictions are to be met with at the two extremities, and that doubt lies in the middle. As mentioned by Aaron the hate crimes legislation enacted by our government was a hate crime with in it’s self directed solely at white people. It has given the green light to all minority races especially blacks to go on the attack without any repercussion.

(Report Comment)
Michael Pezold February 25, 2010 | 3:57 p.m.

hahaha loveing this

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