A woman purportedly attacked two complete strangers in two separate incidents because she hates white people, she told police, yet her choice of victims suggests she may not be as vehemently racist as she presented herself.
As Ebony Steward walked down University Avenue in St. Paul on Friday, she ran into a woman just leaving a nail salon. Her first instinct was to punch the other woman in the face, according to police investigators.
Steward, 32, told police she didn't know the victim, whose left eye was a purple pulp by the time police arrived. Confessing on the spot, she explained the "bitch" had been in her way and added that she just doesn't like light-skinned people.
The responding officers told Steward to leave the area, but then crossed paths with her again a short time later. Records show that as they pulled out of a parking lot on University Avenue, about a block away from the nail salon, they saw Steward drag a different woman to the ground and start hitting her in the head. This time, they cuffed her.
On the way to the Ramsey County jail, Steward told police she attacked the second woman because she was a white girl in the hood. "Get that white bitch out of my yard, out of the hood," Steward said, reportedly expounding on her hatred for white people during the entire ride.
Steward also said she was doing the victims a favor by teaching them a lesson. As white women in a black neighborhood, they would eventually come upon someone who knew how to punch better, Steward told allegedly told police. With five prior assault convictions in Ramsey County, Steward has apparently done her fair share of educating.
When told the first victim is actually black, Steward responded she has anger problems, and that "they" don't give her anger management pills. It's unclear who "they" are.
Prosecutors passed on charging Steward with a hate crime because it wouldn't enhance sentencing much in a case with two felony assaults on the books, says Dennis Gerhardstein, County Attorney's Office spokesman. Each charge comes with a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Steward is due in court December 15.