A resident of The Villages has been jailed for a hate crime after an alleged shopping cart attack at a grocery store.
Zachary Joseph Leas, 36, who lives at 615 Webb Way in the village of Silver Lake, was arrested shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday after he ‘intentionally drove a shopping cart’ into another man’s abdomen as they both were on the Winn’s crosswalk. – Dixie Supermarket on Bichara Boulevard, according to a Lady Lake Police Department arrest report. Leas was “shouting racial slurs in reference to the fact that the victim was African American,” the report said.
The victim left the scene after the incident, but was found by police on Rolling Acres Road. He completed an affidavit detailing the attack. Independent witnesses have verified his version of events.
Leas was charged with a hate crime. Booking photos taken at the Lake County Jail show Leas has a “Coexist” tattoo, which includes a peace symbol, the Star of David, a cross and a Islamic crescent moon. The artist who created the original symbol said it was designed to represent tolerance between religions.
The Pennsylvania native was released after posting $5,000 bond.