• Let them KNOW if you are deaf!

    From Cindy Haglund@1:124/6308.20 to all on Fri Oct 5 07:05:16 2007
    Gee folks. When I go to a cashier I look at them and if they say
    something I indicate I can't hear. The brain challenged frown, the
    intelligent make a note if it is important.... but I doubt anybody
    would hit a petite middle aged lady for being 'rude' would they? ......................................................

    Posted on Fri, Oct. 05, 2007reprint or license print email Digg it
    del.icio.us AIM His silence mistaken, deaf man is attacked
    By ALEX BRANCH
    Star-Telegram staff writer

    STAR-TELEGRAM / KHAMPHA BOUAPHANH
    Cody Goodnight, photographed Thursday, was hit in the head with a
    metal club by a clerk who mistook his silence for disrespect.
    Goodnight is deaf. (Star-Telegram/Khampha Bouaphanh) FORT WORTH -- A
    store cashier struck a deaf customer in the head with a crowbar after
    he mistook the man's silence for rudeness and disrespect, police said.

    The cashier, Ricky Benard Young, 20, faces a charge of aggravated
    assault with a deadly weapon.

    The customer, Cody Goodnight, 31, suffered "a large knot" on his head
    during the incident, which occurred Saturday at the Family Dollar
    Store at 4117 E. Lancaster Ave.

    "I can't believe someone would hit him for not speaking," said
    Goodnight's mother, Kay Goodnight. "When you're deaf, you don't make a
    point of starting conversations with people."

    Young's defense attorney, Mark Scott, said Thursday that he was
    recently assigned the case and declined to comment.

    Kay Goodnight called police after her injured son returned home from
    the store late Saturday morning. Family members translated Cody
    Goodnight's story to officers using sign language.

    Goodnight said went to the Family Dollar several blocks from their
    house to buy a soft drink for his 5-year-old son. Inside the store, he
    put the soda on the counter to pay.

    The cashier tried to speak to him but got angry when Goodnight didn't
    respond, Goodnight told police. The cashier threw Goodnight's change
    at him, scattering it on the floor.

    As Goodnight picked it up, the cashier hit him in the side of the head
    with the crowbar, Goodnight said.

    Officers went to the store, where Young immediately asked if they were
    there about what "happened earlier," said Lt. Dean Sullivan, a police spokesman. The cashier told officers that he had tried to start a
    friendly conversation with Goodnight but that Goodnight wouldn't
    acknowledge him.

    At one point, Young told officers, Goodnight mumbled something that
    Young thought was racial in nature, Sullivan said. Young told officers
    he struck Goodnight because he thought Goodnight was going to assault
    him.

    After officers told Young that Goodnight was deaf and unable to
    communicate verbally, Young responded "Oh," Sullivan said.

    "Upon further investigation, it appeared the suspect became frustrated
    when the victim wouldn't respond or acknowledge his attempts to
    converse," Sullivan said. "He became outraged and struck the victim in
    an unwarranted attack."

    The store's surveillance tape was erased or taped over prior to
    officers' arrival, Sullivan said.

    A corporate spokesman for the Family Dollar Store did not return a
    phone message Thursday.

    Cody Goodnight was treated at the hospital for his injury but still
    has pain in his head and neck, Kay Goodnight said Thursday.

    Deaf since the age of 2, when he suffered a high fever, Goodnight
    speaks in guttural sounds -- "deaf speak" as his mother calls it.

    His stepfather, Barry Adair, said Goodnight doesn't like talking to
    people he doesn't know.

    "He gets embarrassed because people make fun of the way he talks,"
    Adair said. "He's not trying to be rude or unfriendly. You just can't understand him unless you're around him a lot."

    Emily Robinson, a Fort Worth deafness resource specialist, said that
    while it is unusual for a deaf person to be attacked physically, misunderstandings are common. People sometimes take deaf people for
    rude when they are unresponsive, she said.

    "It is a really big problem," Robinson said. "Businesses should be
    professional and sensitive to deaf people. There are training
    workshops about the deaf culture and what to expect in interactions
    with us."

    abranch@star-telegram.com



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  • From Doug Connor@1:132/500 to Cindy Haglund on Sat Oct 6 23:13:40 2007
    Cindy Haglund -> all wrote:
    Gee folks. When I go to a cashier I look at them and if they say
    something I indicate I can't hear. The brain challenged frown, the intelligent make a note if it is important.... but I doubt anybody
    would hit a petite middle aged lady for being 'rude' would they? .....................................................

    Huh what :)



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