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Cracker Barrel

VIA: AJC.com

A judge said she needs time to decide if a south Georgia man charged with attacking an Army reservist outside a Cracker Barrel should be released from jail.

Prosecutors asked a judge this morning to deny bond for a south Georgia man charged with attacking an Army reservist outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Morrow.

Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson asked the judge this morning to deny bond for Troy Dale West Jr.

According to Lawson, West, 47, is a flight risk and a danger to the community.

“You don’t get to beat a woman down, kick her like he’s a dog in front of her child and call her all that stuff,” Lawson told the judge.

West’s attorney, Tony Axam, objected to those claims.

West has been in jail since Sept. 23 when a Clayton County grand jury indicted him on felony charges, including aggravated assault, false imprisonment, first-degree cruelty to children, two counts of battery and two counts of disorderly conduct.

Prosecutors say West beat and kicked Tashawnea Hill as she was coming out of the restaurant. Her 7-year-old daughter watched as West attacked the mother while yelling racial slurs, prosecutors said. West became enraged when Hill told him that he almost hit her daughter while leaving the restaurant.

West’s lawyer said Hill threatened and spit on West, prompting the attack.

“It is regrettable,” Axam told the judge. “There should have not been a threat, should have not been spitting and probably on hindsight, there should not have been a striking.”

Axam asked the judge to release West, saying he needs to be home with his wife, who was injured in a car crash several years ago. West’s wife, pastor and several friends testified Tuesday that he needs to be home and is not a flight risk.

“I need him home. I can’t drive,” West’s wife, Sharon West, told the judge. “It’s hard for me to get out. I’m missing doctors’ appointment and church.”

The district attorney said they feel West is a danger to the community because he has a history of violence.

In 1998, West was charged with simple battery and terroristic threats after he attacked a cashier a K-Mart in Tifton, said Dennis Baker, chief administrator for the district attorney.

According to Baker, West created phony receipts showing he had purchased Matchbox cars at other K-Marts for 59 cents. He argued with the clerk that the price of the cars should be lowered.

When the clerk denied the request, West got into a dispute with the clerk, Baker told the judge.

“The defendant pushed him against a telephone booth and said he would kill him,” Baker said.

The clerk called the police and West fled, Baker said. Police arrested West at a nearby Waffle House, where he was hiding in the bathroom with a loaded pistol, according to Baker.

The case was later dismissed after the records could not be located.

West runs Troy’s Paint & Body & Auto Savage in Poulan in south Georgia, where he lives with his wife.

The FBI is also investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.

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