April 23, 2024
Crime & Courts | Northwest Herald

Crime & Courts

McHenry woman who claims to believe in 'white power' arrested after argument over face masks at Home Depot

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An argument about face masks turned physical Friday at the McHenry Home Depot, where police arrested a 54-year-old woman who allegedly declared her belief in “white power” and attacked another customer.

Officers with the McHenry Police Department on Friday arrested Teri A. Hill, of the 2600 block of Wall Street, McHenry, according to a news release. She is charged with battery and disorderly conduct – misdemeanors that typically result in less than a year in jail.

The charges stem from a reported disturbance at Home Depot, 2461 N. Richmond Road, where two female customers “had a disagreement about facial coverings,” according to the release.

McHenry police arrived at the store at 4:58 p.m. and learned the argument had developed into a physical altercation resulting in minor injuries. Neither of the women involved requested medical care, according to the release.

Police arrested Hill after collecting independent witness statements and video footage taken during the situation. She’s expected to make her first court appearance on Aug. 19.

Hill was released from the McHenry Police Department without posting a cash bond. In turn, she is expected to make all her court appearances. To avoid the spread of COVID-19, officers processed Hill’s arrest from a squad car, and a booking photo was not immediately available.

Hill could not be reached for comment Monday.

The alleged victim, 34-year-old Johnsburg woman Sydney Waters, posted video footage from Home Depot that day, along with a detailed explanation of what she said happened. Reached by phone Monday, Waters identified the other woman in the video as Hill.

“I’m walking with an employee at Home Depot and she storms up to us and she is telling the employee that customers are not wearing their masks and they need to do something about it,” Waters said. “And the employee said ‘That’s out of my hands,’ and [Hill] was really rude.”

Waters said that the woman in the video removed her mask while speaking to the employee, prompting Waters to suggest the woman lead by example. Both Waters and the employee were wearing face masks, and Waters didn’t notice any other customers who weren’t covering their mouths and noses, she said.

“She ripped her face mask off. She said something along the lines of ‘You’re not going to [expletive] tell me what to do,’ ” Waters said.

It was then that the woman threatened to cough and sneeze on her, Waters said, noting that she then pulled out her phone camera.

The video shows the bare-faced woman with a face mask hanging out of the front pocket of her jeans, filming Waters with a cellphone, and sticking out her middle finger.

“You think you have the right to take your mask off to get everyone else sick ...” Waters told the woman, according to video footage.

Covering her face with her phone, the woman went on to call herself “entitled” because she is “white and a woman.” She further claimed to “believe in white power,” according to video footage.

“At first I was like, God’s really not laying this in my lap right now,” said Waters, who also is white.

Shortly after the exchange, the pair ended up wrestling on the ground, when Waters said the other woman tore off Waters’ face mask.

“I’m not a spring chicken anymore – I have bruises everywhere. My shoulder is hurt. Nothing’s broken,” Waters said.

The McHenry Police Department did not respond to an email seeking comment about Waters’ video footage and the comments made by the other customer.

Waters was not cited or charged in connection with the fight.

“I bought my houseplants and went home,” she said.

Katie Smith

Katie Smith

Katie reported on the crime and courts beat for the Northwest Herald from 2017 through 2021. She began her career with Shaw Media in 2015 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, where she reported on the courts, city council, the local school board, and business.