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Racist comment about hanging leads to hate crime charge against Maryville man

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MARYVILLE, Mo. -- A Maryville man is facing a hate crime charge in Nodaway County, accused of grabbing the arm of a waitress and making racist comments. The Nodaway County Prosecutor filed charges on Thursday over the Sunday, Jan. 25 incident at a Maryville restaurant, where the man was eating breakfast.

According to the probable cause statement, while taking Gaa's order, the woman at the counter said she asked Gaa if he wanted white or wheat toast.

She says he replied, "I'm prejudiced. I'll take white."

After giving Gaa's order to the kitchen, the African-American worker says she went around to the coffee area that is accessible to the public.

She says Gaa came up to her, grabbed her right arm hard enough to leave bruises and asked her if she "liked to party."

The worker says she told him "No," and says he then replied, "I have a place I would like to take you where I hung your grandpa."

When questioned by police, they say he at first denied making those statements but then admitted that he made some of them.

During their conversation with him, police say Gaa used the "N" word to describe good and bad black people, and good and bad white people.

The range of punishment for a class D felony of assault in the 3rd degree is imprisonment for two to four years and up to a $5,000 fine.