A food delivery driver said a customer grabbed her by her head scarf and attempted to strangle her.
Sonya King, who works for DoorDash, told Channel 2 Action News that she was making a delivery at a house on South Grand Avenue in northwest Atlanta and that Rick Painter, 54, told her to leave the food on the counter. She said he then told her he’d give her a cash tip as she was headed for the door.
While going through his wallet, he allegedly said, “Oh, and by the way, I’m Jesus” before coming up behind her and grabbing her niqab, a veil worn by some Muslim women in public.
"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," King told Channel 2. "He thought he was Jesus, but Jesus wouldn't do that to nobody."
She used her finger to poke his eye and her car keys to hold him off, the news station reported. Police arrested Painter after King got away and called 911.
After medics treated Painter’s injuries, authorities charged him with battery, Channel 2 reported. He has been in and out of jail on numerous violent charges, the station confirmed.
"By the love of Allah, I knew he was not going to allow that man to kill a believer," King told Channel 2.
A DoorDash spokesman sent the news station this statement: "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."
Zachary Hansen, a Georgia native, covers economic development and commercial real estate for the AJC. He's been with the newspaper since 2018 and enjoys diving into complex stories that affect people's lives.