Louisville police investigate whether attack on Army veteran at grocery store was racially motivated

Police in Louisville, Kentucky, are reportedly investigating after a disabled Army veteran claimed she was called a "White b----" and then beaten by a group of Black women in a grocery store parking lot on Mother's Day. 

In an on-camera interview with WAVE3 News, Pamela Ahlstedt-Brown recalled trying to leave the Kroger on Breckinridge Lane on May 9 by backing out of a handicapped parking spot – but stopped short when she noticed that a vehicle had blocked her in.  


"I get out and I say, ‘Do you guys need any help?’ and she said, ‘F--- you, you White b----’," Ahlstedt-Brown told the outlet, referring to one of the women in the other vehicle. "I said, ‘Hold on, you don’t even know me.’ I said, ‘That’s fine. If you don’t need anything, that’s fine. I’ll get back in the car.’"

Ahlstedt-Brown described the vehicle as a black Dodge — either a Charger or Challenger. She said one of the women proceeded to throw the contents of a cup at her before they all got out and attacked her. 

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"I mean, they were beating me, and I was in a fetal position, covering my face, making sure they didn’t get my eyes," Ahlstedt-Brown said. "I could have been killed, but I know how to protect myself. I mean, I’m a strong person."


Ahlstedt-Brown told the outlet that bystanders intervened to break up the fight – not members of a Kroger security team. She said she suffered a broken nose. 

A photo shared by WAVE3 News showed Ahlstedt-Brown wearing what appeared to be a bloodied white T-shirt that read "Run Army, Run Strong" and referenced a race in 2011.


Kroger did not immediately return a Fox News request for comment Sunday. 

Ahlstedt-Brown, whose husband is Black and children are bi-racial, expressed concern that race played a role in the incident and that it could happen to someone else if the alleged assailants aren’t caught. 

"It’s hard for us because we all feel like, well, what if we would have been there? It makes you feel helpless," Ahlstedt-Brown’s husband, Edward, told WAVE, before explaining how their children reacted to the attack. "It was terrible for them and for me to have their mom come home in that condition."


It’s unclear whether police have identified suspects or made arrests related to this incident. 


The Louisville Metro Police Department did not immediately return a Fox News request for comment Sunday. 

"We're gonna collect all the evidence, present it in court and they will decide," an LMPD police spokesman previously told the Independent Chronicle, weighing the potential for hate crime charges. "A hate crime is an enhancement; in this case, … an assault is where we are at at this time."


Ahlstedt-Brown said she returned to that same Kroger later that day of the incident to speak with Louisville police officers and tried to retrieve security camera footage of the incident. She told the outlet that her daughter followed up with the police department three days later but received mixed messages as to whether video could be released to the family. 


"They told her, ‘You could have got the video from Kroger the first day,’" Ahlstedt-Brown said, referring to police. "And then he followed that up with, ‘Well, a detective has it, so you can’t get it from Kroger.’ So which was is it? His response was to hang up on her." 

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Anyone with any information is asked to call LMPD’s anonymous tip line at (502) 574-LMPD (5673).