Sunday, May 27, 2018

Son speaks after father arrested in attack at St. Augustine McDonald's (News4JAX)

Add lying to police officers to the list of charges against Elkton resident JOHN JAY SMITH, who allegedly assaulted Egyptian exchange students at a McDonald's restaurant south of St. Augustine. 

Son speaks after father arrested in attack at St. Augustine McDonald's

'I'm still disgusted,' says son, who's now working with State Attorney's Office

By Ethan Calloway - Anchor/reporter
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Following the arrest of an Elkton man who deputies said threatened a group of Egyptian exchange students with a switchblade and a stun gun at a St. Augustine McDonald's, his estranged son sat down with News4Jax on Friday.
Seth Smith reached out after deputies said his father, 60-year-old John Jay Smith, used him as an excuse for the dispute that unfolded early Wednesday outside the McDonald's on U.S. 1.
According to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, John Smith told the four exchange students, who said they are Muslims, "Get out of my country. You do not deserve to eat here."
Once in custody, John Smith told deputies, "They killed my son. My son was a Marine," according to his arrest report. The report said John Smith went on to talk about "how his son died in Afghanistan while in combat with the Marine Corps."
But Seth Smith called the newsroom, saying not only is he alive, but his father barely even knows him.
Seth Smith said he is an Army veteran who survived three tours of duty in Iraq, and he hasn't spoken to his father since 2009.
"It was offensive that he would utilize me in his storytelling," the son said. "But I was more offended by the actions that he did. Nobody should be accosted at 2:30 in the morning when they’re trying to get a hamburger, especially by somebody who is making false claims like this.”
The arrest report states, "The statements made by the defendant to the victims showed that he only committed the acts due to the victims' religion."
"It was disgusting," Seth Smith said. "I'm still disgusted to this day."
Seth Smith said he wishes he could apologize to the victims and hopes his father finds peace.
“Maybe not using my name to further his cause would probably be positive because I’m actually doing positive change in this community here," he said. "I don’t need to be brought down by his evil words.”
John Smith is charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, burglary with assault and armed trespassing. 
Seth Smith told News4Jax that he is cooperating with the State Attorney's Office to bring a hate crime charge against his father. 
When News4Jax called the phone number listed for John Smith on Friday, the person who answered hung up. 

No comments: