Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rice on Wednesday announced that he has filed a felony assault charge against Tommy Dean Gaa, 65, Maryville, in connection with an alleged hate crime.

According to a probable cause statement filed by Maryville Public Safety Officer Adam James, Gaa was taken into custody after ordering breakfast at a local business on Sunday, Jan. 25, where he was waited on by an African-American employee.

The employee, according to James’ statement, asked Gaa if he wanted white or wheat toast, and Gaa allegedly responded by saying, “I’m prejudiced. I’ll take white.”

Moments later, Gaa is said to have approached the employee, allegedly grabbing her arm in a manner that caused bruising and asking her if she “liked to party.”

According to the probable cause statement, Gaa then allegedly said, “I have a place I would like to take you where I hung your grandpa.”

The report stated the employee then left the part of the business open to the public and returned to a kitchen area.

James reported that Gaa initially denied making the statements, then allegedly admitted that he committed at least some of the acts described above.

According to the officer’s report, Gaa “volunteered” a comment about there being “good and bad” people of different races, and in doing so uttered a highly offensive term for people of African descent.

Gaa was released from the Nodaway County Jail on $4,900 bond.

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Staff writer Anthony Brown can be reached at tbrown@maryvilledailyforum.com or by calling the newspaper at 660.562.2424.

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