By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida doctor accused of attacking a Hispanic man at a supermarket will face hate crime charges.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced her office is charging Dr. Jennifer Susan Wright, 58, with felony counts of battery with prejudice, criminal mischief with prejudice and tampering with a victim or witness. Wright was originally arrested last month, several weeks after the attack was reported.

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“It is sad that in such a diverse, multi-ethnic community like Miami-Dade County, COVID precautions can trigger such alleged outbursts of ethnic hate,” Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “Hate crimes are always meant to demean and intimidate their intended targets.”

According to Hialeah PD, on January 20, the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration, Dr. Wright was shopping at the Publix on E 2 Avenue. and 54 Street in Hialeah.

When she went to check out, she placed her items on the conveyor belt. But, according to the man, Wright was standing too close.

He told police he asked her in Spanish to please keep her distance, repeating himself in English.   Police said Wright mumbled “bad words” under her breath.

It appears the encounter escalated once Wright paid for her groceries and found the man in the parking lot. He claims Wright called him a racial slur for a Hispanic person. 

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According to the arrest report, Wright stabbed the victim’s vehicle with her keys while saying he needed to go back to his country and then punched and kicked the man.

The man said Wright screamed at him, “We should have gotten rid of you when we could. We should have burned you all. This is not going to be your Biden’s America. This is my America. This is my country. We are going to get rid of every single one of you.”

According to Wright’s social media posts, it appears she aligns herself with the political right.  Images showed support for former President Donald Trump.  One picture showed her wearing a MAGA hat.  She displayed memes depicting, “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE” and “WORLD KNOWS TRUMP WON #MAGA.”

The legal team for Wright released a statement following her arrest.

“We look forward to discrediting this ugly attack against our client that is filled with lies and twisted information to fit someone else’s political agenda,” Coral Gables attorney Carlos F. Gonzalez said in the statement.

Wright had been an anesthesiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Hospital officials announced after her arrest that Wright, who was contracted to work there, was no longer responsible for patient care at the Miami Beach hospital.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Team