A white man faces criminal charges for unleashing what was described as a racist tirade against a white Winooski woman and her biracial daughter as they left the city's post office last week.
The Chittenden County State's Attorney's Office accused Don Lindsay, 66, of Winooski, of disorderly conduct with a hate-crime enhancement. He pleaded not guilty during a June 30 arraignment, but police said he admitted to saying "some nasty things."
"I don't like Blacks I'm sorry I am prejudice but I don't care," he allegedly told Winooski Officer Jason Ziter, according to a court affidavit.
Lindsay explained to Ziter that he had lost his patience at how long Megan Gregory, 31, spent inside the Winooski Post Office on Main Street, where COVID-19 restrictions allow just one customer at a time inside the lobby.
Gregory told Seven Days that on the afternoon of June 25, she mailed a few packages to a family member, then scooped her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Mira, into her arms and walked to the exit. A man wearing khakis and loafers stepped into the open doorway and chided her, she said. "Get your fucking negro or Black child out of the way," she recalled Lindsay saying.
Gregory confronted Lindsay about his comment, but he continued. She said he lunged toward her and her daughter, prompting another customer in line to step between them.
Gregory returned to the lobby and called the police. "Once he realized I was on the phone and actually calling them, he tried to leave," she said. Gregory followed, staying about 25 feet behind.
He yelled "white power" and other racial epithets that appeared to be directed at her biracial daughter, and she called him a "racist asshole," she wrote in a sworn statement to police.
Police caught up with Lindsay as he entered a parking garage connected to his residence. He denied touching Gregory and admitted he "shouldn't have blown up at her," police said.
He faces up to two years in jail and a $2,000 fine. Lindsay's public defender, Will Kidney, declined to comment. Attempts to reach Lindsay were not successful.
Gregory said she's thankful that her daughter, who was recently diagnosed with autism, didn't understand the man's words. But Gregory was disturbed by how angry the man became — and how he seemed to be triggered by her daughter's "beautiful" skin color. She posted her account of the episode on Facebook to raise awareness of racism locally.
Gregory and her fiancé, Ronald Spivey, have lived in Winooski for five years and are looking to buy property in the area. Spivey, who is Black, is a DJ also known by his stage name, Ron Stoppable.
Spivey wasn't at the post office but said he's been wondering why Lindsay would decide to say such racist things to a woman in public.
"What happened to make him feel confident enough?" Spivey wondered aloud. "Or does he say it quite often and it just never gets reported?"
Regardless, Spivey said, the man picked the wrong woman to belittle.
"She's relentless," he said of Gregory. "She's not one to mess with."