PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A well-known food truck owner said a man attacked her after making what she described as racists comments at a deli in Tigard.
Kiauna Nelson owns Kee’s Loaded Kitchen, a food truck that draws a crowd in Northeast Portland. On Thursday, Dec. 5, after work, she stopped into Foxy’s Deli. Nelson said she asked for a pack of menthol cigarettes, and then made a joke when she was told they didn’t have any. It was then, Nelson said, that the store clerk made a racist comment. She started recording video of the man, and he reacted by grabbing her phone.
“I do a lot of social media, and I wanted to tell my followers what was just said to me,” said Nelson. “So, as soon as I pulled my phone out, I was like, ‘Hey guys, I’m at Foxy’s. I’m asking this guy for Newport Kings. He said he didn’t have them or whatever. Then he tell us that black people aren’t allowed to buy real estate in Oregon until the 1960’s.'”
“But I didn’t get an opportunity to say that last sentence before he rushed me to the ground,” said Nelson.
Doctors told Nelson her arm was not broken, but was bruised and swollen.
Police arrested the store clerk, identified as Jason Smith, on suspicion of assault. Authorities did not say this was a bias crime.
In the days following the incident, people flocked to the deli’s Yelp review page to leave low ratings and react to Nelson’s testimony. Comments ranged from people in Oregon and Washington, all the way to New York and Georgia. The spike in activity caused Yelp to disable the review function for Foxy’s, and put up a notice that read, in part:
“This business recently made waves in the news, which often means people come to this page to post their views on the news rather than actual consumer experiences with the business… We’ve temporarily disabled the posting of content to this page as we work to verify the content you see here reflects actual consumer experiences rather than the recent events.”
Despite her injury, Nelson has since returned to work at the food cart.
Smith is set to appear in court for arraignment on December 17.