A Burlington woman faces felony assault charges after police say she drove her pickup truck toward two 12-year-old girls, a Graham Police Department spokesman said Tuesday morning.
Sandrea Warren, 52, was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill for the incident that occurred around 4 p.m. Friday, said Lt. Daniel Sisk.
A Graham police officer witnessed part of the incident, Sisk said.
At this point, “there is no evidence that this had anything to do with the race of the two juveniles,” Sisk said.
A police incident report wasn’t available Tuesday morning, he said.
An arrest warrant, obtained from the Alamance County District Court clerk, stated the charges and described a pickup truck as the weapon.
Warren was released from jail on a $200,000 bail bond on Saturday, according to Byron Tucker, a spokesperson for the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office.
Girls say driver made U-turn, jumped curb
Faith Cook, the mother of one of the girls, said she believes the girls were targeted because they’re Black.
Cook’s daughter, Aishah Huru, and her friend Gianna Corpezano had walked to a nearby convenience store, Cook said in a video shared on Facebook and in an interview with The News & Observer. The girls and their mothers were also interviewed on FOX8.
When Cook’s phone rang that afternoon, she thought her daughter was calling to ask if she wanted anything from the store.
Instead, Aishah said a lady had tried to hit them with her truck, the mother said.
“I was like, ‘What, wait, slowdown, what are you talking about?’ ” Cook said.
Then a police officer got on the phone, she said.
Aishah told her mother that the girls had left the store and were walking, laughing and talking on FaceTime. A woman in a gray truck stopped and asked them what they had said to her, Cook said.
They told the woman they weren’t talking to her, Cook said.
“And she heard the lady yell, ‘Black (expletive) or Black (expletive),’” Cook said and and one of the girls told FOX8 in the interview.
The girls turned around and walked in the other direction, Cook said, but Aishah realized she had dropped her Slim Jim. She turned around and saw the truck driver had made U-turn and was heading toward them, the mother said.
They started running, Cook said, and cut through a parking lot.
“And the truck jumped the curb through a parking lot,” Cook said.
“I was like oh my god, please don’t hit me. Don’t hit me. Don’t hit me,” Gianna told FOX8.
Cook said vans in the parking lot prevented the driver from being able to reach the girls without having to stop and back up.
Cook said the officer told her that she saw the girls moving toward her direction and she saw the truck jump the curb into the parking lot.
The officer, who didn’t see the initial interaction between the girls and the woman, told Cook she decided to stay with the girls, instead of following the woman, to make sure they were all right and to call their parents, Cook said.
The arrest warrant indicates Warren was arrested the next day.
Warren hung up when The N&O contacted her Tuesday. The newspaper left a message with her attorney John Cox in Graham.
DA still gathering information in case
Cook said she is hurt, angry and scared now to let her daughter go outside.
“I am shocked that an adult, no matter the situation, would go to that extreme,” she said.
Cook said the situation made her think of Trayvon Martin, who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman while walking home from a Florida convenience store.
“The boy went to the store for a snack and didn’t make it home,” she said in the video. ”Luckily my daughter made it home. … But what if they didn’t.”
Alamance County District Attorney Sean Boone said his office is still gathering information on the case.
Talking in general terms and not specifically about this case, Boone said if evidence shows a criminal offense is based on race, religion or other protected classes, defendants can face more severe charges, additional charges and longer prison sentences.
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