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Armed North Florida Man Threatened Fast Food Customers, Yelled ‘Get Out of My Country': Police

John Jay Smith approached a group of exchange students while holding a knife and asked if they were "American boys"

What to Know

  • Mohamed Galal and Zeyad Said told St. Johns Sheriff's deputies that 60-year-old John Jay Smith approached them while holding a knife.
  • An arrest report says Smith yelled that they "don't deserve American food."
  • While being arrested, the report says Smith said "they killed my son," a U.S. Marine who died while in combat in Afghanistan.

A Florida man faces multiple charges after sheriff's deputies say he threatened a group of men outside a McDonald's restaurant with a stun gun and knife and yelled "get out of my country."

It happened early Wednesday in St. Augustine on Florida's Atlantic Coast.

Two of the men, Mohamed Galal and Zeyad Said told St. Johns Sheriff's deputies that 60-year-old John Jay Smith approached them while holding a knife and asked if they were "American boys." An arrest report says Smith yelled that they "don't deserve American food."

Deputies also noted in the report that Smith "smelled of alcohol."

While being arrested, the report says Smith told deputies "they killed my son," a U.S. Marine who he said died while in combat in Afghanistan. Prosecutors could not verify whether Smith had a son who was killed in action overseas.

Local media reported the men are exchange students from Egypt.

Smith faces charges of aggravated assault, trespassing and burglary. As of Wednesday morning he remained jailed on $8,500 bond. 

Prosecutors will determine whether the incident was a hate crime. Jail records didn't list an attorney.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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