A woman who said she believes in “white power” and was accused of attacking another customer at a McHenry Home Depot last summer has been found not guilty.
Teri A. Hill, 54, of the 2600 block of Wall Street in McHenry, was charged with two counts of battery, a Class A misdemeanor, and one count of disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor.
A bench trial overseen by McHenry County Judge Mark Gerhardt was held on Wednesday where he found Hill not guilty on all three charges.
The charges stemmed from an incident on July 3 at the Home Depot, 2461 North Richmond Road, where two customers got into a disturbance.
McHenry Police Department Public Affairs Officer Patrick Polidori said at the time that officers conducted an investigation and learned the two female customers had a disagreement over face coverings.
A video posted on social media showed the confrontation take place.
“I was at The Home Depot this afternoon looking for storage walking and talking with a kind employee,” Sydney Waters said.
“A woman interrupted us, removed her face mask only to tell the employee that she was angry that other customers didn’t have theirs on,” Waters said at the time of the incident.
Waters said that the woman, identified by police as Hill, walked away to go find the manager of the store.
“When we passed her I said, ‘ma’am if you’re going to demand other folks keep their masks on it’s important you do too.’”
“She posted up. Told me I wasn’t going to tell her what to f—ing do. Then she took her mask all the way off, put it in her pocket and let me know she was going to spit and cough on me,” Waters said.
“You’re disrespectful to everyone else in this store and the entitlement is disgusting,” Waters said to Hill in the video.
“Yes I am entitled, I’m white, I’m a woman,” Hill replied.
“What does you being white have to do with you getting your way?” Waters asked. “Because I’m a white woman, that’s what happens,” Hill replied.
“You’re a disgusting racist piece of trash,” Waters said before Hill replied, “I believe in white power.”
The video cuts out as a physical altercation took place between the two women. Minor injuries were reported but neither of the women requested medical care, Polidori said.
Officers collected independent witness statements and video footage and determined there was probable cause to charge Hill, Polidori said.
She was released at the scene on a personal recognizance bond.
Judge Gerhardt said during the Wednesday bench trial that his decision to find Hill not guilty was because neither woman’s testimony was credible due to it being contradictory.
He called the surveillance footage “almost unwatchable” and said he struggled to determine who battered the other first, the Northwest Herald reported.
Gerhardt also said the confrontation was avoidable and either woman could have walked away at any time.
The Northwest Herald spoke with Hill following the trial and she said her comments during the incident were sarcastic.