AUSTIN COUNTY, Texas — A woman is calling for accountability after she said she was assaulted at an Austin County grocery store after she found $50 on the ground.
Betty Smith, 65, said she found the money on the ground on Jan. 15 while she was shopping at the Lindemann Grocery in Industry, Texas.
"I said: 'Look at here, my lucky day,'” Smith said.
The store has been a hub in the town since the 1880s and Smith was a regular customer. But, she said she won't be going back.
On Monday, Smith, community activist Quanell X and others took their complaints to the Austin County courthouse in Bellville, about 15 miles away from where the incident happened. They want three former employees charged with assaulting the grandmother, who is also battling cancer.
“They just jumped all over me and choked me,” Smith said. “She was spitting all in my face ... I was too scared to spit in her face.”
Smith said a trio of employees stopped her from leaving the store after she found the money. They locked the door and, according to surveillance video, it appears as if things turned physical after Smith made a motion toward an employee. Smith's supporters said the video clearly shows who was in the wrong.
“We demand the DA get off your behind and do your job. What other evidence do you need?” Quanell X said. “This county has to stand up and do what is right.”
According to reports, Smith's daughter was arrested after she showed up and allegedly assaulted one of the employees.
The district attorney's office said it's reviewing reports, statements and video from the incident in question.
The store said it immediately fired the employees even though they haven't been charged with a crime.
Smith said the store offered to let her keep the $50 and also to help with bond money, but she declined. She said she's also considering civil action.
"The Austin County District Attorney's Office has received offense reports, witness statements, and extensive video evidence from the Austin County Sheriff's Office's investigation concerning the January 16, 2023 incident at Lindemann Store.
"The District Attorney's Office is carefully reviewing this matter, as we do with all investigations forwarded by law enforcement.
“This remains an ongoing investigation. The office will continue to request and review any additional evidence that may be relevant to charging decisions in this incident.
"When this matter is completed, the Austin County District Attorney's Office will issue a press release to notify the public regarding the outcome."