BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Bend man who allegedly confronted and harassed a DoorDash delivery driver picking up food at an Old Mill restaurant nearly a month ago was charged Monday with a bias crime, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said Monday.
The alleged victim, a 31-year-old Bend man Hummel described as a person of color saving up to buy an Ethiopian food truck, entered the Red Robin Restaurant in Bend’s Old Mill District on Sunday, June 28 while working as a delivery person for DoorDash.
Hummel said the driver picked up the delivery food bag from the area in the bar where delivery orders are left for drivers.
A customer in the bar, identified as Jeremiah McBride, 35, saw the delivery driver pick up the order and confronted him, the DA said. The man told McBride he was a delivery driver, “but this did not deter Mr. McBride,” Hummel said in a news release.
“McBride persisted with his hostile attitude, including calling the victim the ‘N-word,’” the prosecutor said.
The delivery man walked out to his car, but McBride pursued him. Hummel said the DoorDash driver “started to drive off when Mr. McBride violently kicked the car, causing damage.” The delivery driver got out of his car, Hummel said, and “McBride then shouted and shoved him.”
Witnesses, including the Red Robin bartender who came outside, observed what took place, Hummel said.
As a crowd formed, McBride disengaged, got in a car and drove off. Hummel said the alleged victim took a photo of the suspect’s license plate as he left and notified police, who contacted McBride.
On Monday, Hummel charged McBride with second-degree bias crime, harassment and second-degree criminal mischief. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance on August 25.
Hummel said the alleged victim is a person of color, but that he had not asked him how he self-identifies.
“Oregon’s bias crime law exists for situations exactly like this," Hummel said in a statement. "A shove is more than a shove when a person is shoved because of the color of their skin.
"By all accounts, (the alleged victim) is one of the hardest workers in our community. He shines in his job by getting in and out of restaurants, and to his customers, as quickly as possible. He’s saving money in pursuit of his dream to one day open an Ethiopian food truck in our community.
"To be challenged by a customer at Red Robin, a place he has picked up orders dozens of times, must have been disheartening," Hummel wrote.
"But after responding that he was a delivery driver, being disbelieved, called the N-word, pursued outside, having his car kicked and damaged, and being shouted at and shoved, must have been demoralizing, hurtful, and maddening.
"It is something that would never have happened to a white man. (The driver) is a valued member of our community, and I stand with him,” the DA's statement concluded.