Man charged with four hate crimes in grocery store attack


    The man who Toshiana Northington said shouted racial slurs before attacking her and her children in the parking lot of Woodman’s on Milwaukee Street has been charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors, all as hate crimes.

    As we reported on July 13, Northington was dropping her children off at the front door of the grocery store because it was raining heavily, which caused a momentary backup that prevented David Lythjohan of McFarland from pulling out of a parking spot. Northington said he became enraged and began shouting racial slurs, then exited his car and punched her window, opened the car door and punched her. She said she was able to kick him off of her, but he turned and struck her 11-year-old child and threw her four-year-old child to the ground when the children tried to intervene.

    The encounter was captured on surveillance video, which has not been released.

    Initial police reports did not include the use of racial slurs, though Northington said she told officers on the scene about them. Police reports were later updated to include the allegation of racial slurs, and Northington said she also told an investigator from the District Attorney’s office about the slurs.

    On Tuesday, Lythjohan was charged with battery, an A-class misdemeanor; disorderly conduct, a class D misdemeanor; recklessly causing harm to a child, a class I felony; and intentionally causing harm to a child, a class H felony. All four charges carry a hate crime enhancer. If convicted and given maximum sentences, Lythjohan, who is 65, could face more than 22 years in prison and $40,000 in fines.

    Northington did not immediately respond to voice and text messages left Tuesday evening.