“Mommy this guy wants to break my neck;” that’s what a 5-year-old told his mother as they waited in line at a Lynn Haven Taco Bell back in May.

The words allegedly came from Thomas Plaisted.

The child says Plaisted spit food at him, pushed his 11-year-old brother and cursed at their mother.

“This man not only called the children names like Muslim bastards, he cursed at them using the F-word.”

Members of the Council on American Islamic Relations appeared on the steps of the Bay County Courthouse Thursday afternoon to show support for the Muslim community and to get one message across.

Ahmed Bedier, with the CAIR Tampa Chapter said, “Hate crimes of this nature, specially the ones directed at kids who didn’t do anything wrong just because of their religion or their ethnicity or color is unacceptable.”

The group asked State Attorney Steve Meadows to prosecute Plaisted for hate crimes, and urged him not to allow Plaisted to cut a deal.

A half hour later, Plaisted appeared in front of Circuit Judge Dee Dee Costello for arraignment.

He pled not guilty to two counts of evidencing prejudice, committing an offense, or hate crimes.


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