OAK PARK, Ill. - A health sciences professor has been charged with a felony hate crime after he allegedly yelled racial slurs and spit on a Black woman and her daughter outside a Jewel-Osco in Oak Park earlier this month.
Alberto Friedmann, 53, is also facing one count of felony aggravated assault with a motor vehicle for accelerating toward the woman and nearly hitting her with his car during the attack Sept. 7 in the parking lot of the store at 438 W. Madison St., according to Cook County prosecutors.
The woman was parked along the traffic lane between the parking aisles while waiting for her mother to finish shopping about 4:30 p.m., prosecutors said. As she sat in her car with her daughter, the woman said she heard someone honking and yelling.
The woman looked up and saw Friedmann in a Jaguar behind her, prosecutors said. He allegedly yelled a racial slur at her and told her to move her car. Then he got out of his car and approached the woman while continuing to shout racial slurs, according to a court document.
When the woman tried to open her door, Friedmann allegedly pushed the door closed and spit in her face. He told the woman he spit on her because he doesn’t like Black people, prosecutors said.
By this point, the woman’s mother had left the store and heard Friedmann yelling slurs and saw him spit on her daughter, prosecutors said.
Friedmann got back in his car and the woman got out of her car to try and get his license plate number. She didn’t see one and called out for someone to contact the police, prosecutors said. Friedmann allegedly accelerated towards the woman, who had to side-step to avoid being hit. Then he crashed into her car twice, prosecutors said.
Friedmann got out of his Jaguar again but witnesses intervened and he was arrested a short time later, prosecutors said. He admitted to spitting at the woman and striking her car, prosecutors said, adding that the attack was captured on the store’s surveillance video.
Friedmann, an Oak Park resident, holds a doctorate in kinesiology and exercise science and neurology. He teaches neuro kinesiology at National University of Health Sciences, his attorney said during his court hearing Sunday.
Friedmann was released from custody after posting bond, according to court records.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.