Report: St. Johns County man told McDonald's customers to 'get out of my country'

Report: St. Johns County man told McDonald's customers to 'get out of my country'

John Smith (St. Johns County Sheriff's Department)

UPDATE: Authorities now say this incident has been upgraded to a hate crime. Upgraded charges are possible. 

A St. Johns County man is being held without bond in the county jail after he allegedly threatened men at McDonald's and told them to "Get out of my country, you don't deserve to eat here."

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John Smith, 60, was charged with aggravated assault, burglary and trespassing.

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office reported that they were called to the McDonald's in the 2400 block of U.S. 1 in St. Augustine around 2:20 a.m. on Wednesday.

Deputies said they arrived to find Smith, who said, "I am American and the guys by the vehicles were making [a] ruckus so I told them to get out of here and one of them pulled a gun and they left in a red vehicle."

Smith smelled of alcohol and was slurring his words, deputies said.

The victims in the police report say they were standing in the parking lot eating food when they were confronted by Smith, the police report said. He yelled at them to "get the [expletive] out of here, you don't deserve American food."

The men said they tried to get away, but Smith placed a stun gun on their car window. Smith admitted to deputies that he had his "zapper" in his pocket.

Smith deployed the stun gun and one of the victims said they had to move their face to avoid being shocked. The victims dropped their food on the ground as they tried to get away, deputies said.

The victim added that he was able to back up his car during an attempt to escape but damaged his car when he hit a pole while trying to get away.

The manager of the McDonald's told deputies they saw Smith exit his car and reach into the victims' vehicle with the stun gun.

Smith was placed in the back of a squad car and evaluated by medics after he complained of shortness of breath.

Deputies said they heard Smith say "They killed my son." Smith was rambling about his "son died in Afghanistan while in combat with the Marines Corp," the police report said.