A Barber from Rock Hill, South Carolina, was arrested following an incident Tuesday where he allegedly pulled a gun on a black man seeking to get his hair cut and told him, “We don’t cut black hair.”
Arthur Hill, who moved to the city from New York five months ago, said the entire ordeal left him shocked and scared.
“I could have been killed,” Hill said, “I realize that.”
Hill immediately left the barber shop and called the sheriff’s office. The barber, Larry Thomas, was subsequently arrested and charged with pointing and presenting a firearm.
Resident Randy Holmes, who is also black, said he had a similar encounter with Thomas about five years ago.
But Thomas’ girlfriend, Jasmine Patterson said although Thomas has been accused of being racist in the past, he doesn’t discriminate. She said he is severely autistic and sometimes has trouble communicating clearly.
“He’s a nice person. He would do anything for anybody,” Patterson added.
Thomas was released from the jail the following day and told reporters a different version of what occurred. He said he keeps a gun behind the counter for protection and only pulled it after Hill got in his face and it scared him. Thomas also said he never pointed the gun at anyone.
Thomas readily admitted he doesn’t cut African American hair, but also said it has nothing to do with being racist.
“I’m not good enough to cut it,” he said, adding that he no longer cuts women’s hair either.
“It takes a skill I don’t have,” Thomas explained.
And apparently Thomas doesn’t just refuse service to black people either. Police records indicate numerous complaints dating back to 2007 and showing Thomas’ refusal to provide service for blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, even children and a disabled veteran.
[ WSOCTV ]