Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chris Rock's mom: Cracker Barrel discriminated

"CHARLESTON, South Carolina (AP) -- Rose Rock, the mother of comedian Chris Rock, claims she was racially discriminated against when she was seated but ignored for a half hour at a Cracker Barrel restaurant along the South Carolina coast.

Rock said Tuesday she planned to sue the Lebanon, Tennessee-based company. A Cracker Barrel spokeswoman said the restaurant chain was investigating and taking the complaint "very seriously."

Cracker Barrel has in the past faced numerous lawsuits and a federal inquiry over complaints of refusing to serve black customers, discriminating against minority workers and firing gay employees. The company has taken steps to rebuild its folksy image and reach out to minorities.

Rock, who is from Georgetown, said she and her 21-year-old daughter were the only blacks at the chain's Murrells Inlet restaurant in April. She said when she asked the manager about the delay she was told they could have a free meal.

"He never called over the waitresses and asked, 'Why did these people sit here for a half hour without service?' " she said. "The only thing he said was we could have a free meal and neither of us wanted to eat."

Cracker Barrel spokeswoman Julie Davis said the company doesn't "tolerate any form of discrimination."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Four arrested in attack on gay man

"October 11, 2006, 7:06 AM EDT

Four young men were arrested for luring a gay man to a remote location with an online promise of a sexual encounter, then attempting to rob him -- an incident that left the victim in critical condition after he ran into traffic to escape the attack, a police commander said Wednesday.

The four, who range in age from 16 to 20, were arrested late Tuesday, according to a police commander who spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges were still pending. Police had said they were investigating the Sunday attack as a possible bias incident, but it remained unclear whether the four would be charged with a bias crime.

Police sources said it appears the men had arranged, through e-mail, to meet the victim in a popular gay hangout, under the guise of having sex with him, but actually planned to rob him. They had told him to bring money in case they went to a hotel room, the sources said.

The victim, Michael Sandy, 28, a designer for Ikea from East Williamsburg, is still in critical condition and on a respirator at Brookdale Hospital.",0,7527656,print.story?coll=ny-nycnews-headlines