Jazzpher Evans a Black College Student says Steven Homan a white owner of the bar known as The Barn in Quincy, Illinois, has been charged with a felony crime after allegedly committing a racially motivated attack against 19-year-old Jazzpher “Jazz” Evans on April 4.
Homan, 47, was charged with aggravated battery and is accused of pushing the student, who is on a basketball scholarship at Quincy University, against the wall and slamming her to the ground after she requested a song at the bar, WGN9 reported.
Evans’ attorney, Keenan J. Saulter of Saulter Law P.C., said Homan put the young woman in a chokehold and rendered her unconscious before dragging her out of the bar and slamming her onto the ground.
“The family of Jazzpher Evans is encouraged that charges are being filed against Steven Homan who violently attacked her in a racially-fueled incident on Sunday, April 4, 2021 in Quincy, Illinois,” Saulter said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the 19-year-old suffered a “traumatic brain injury” and is still recovering.
In addition, Evans suffered multiple lacerations and cuts to her face, nose, hip, back and neck as she was also rendered unconscious for at least five minutes, the attorney said.
“Jazzpher is still receiving medical attention for her numerous injuries,” the law firm stated, according to Patch.
The young woman’s attorneys also criticized police after the incident.
“When Quincy Police Department Officers arrived on the scene—they never called for or offered Jazz medical attention—even though after she had regained consciousness was visibly bleeding from her nose and wounds on her face and suffering from the effects of being unconscious for more than five minutes,” The Saulter Firm stated.
In an interview with ABC7, Evans said the attack happened when she went to the DJ booth with a friend to put in a song request.
“He didn’t even say anything to me at first,” she said about the suspect. “The first thing he did was put his hands on me. He didn’t ask me to leave. He didn’t ask me what I was doing by the DJ booth. His first instinct was to shove me up against the gate.”
The Joliet West High School graduate is known in her community as an excellent athlete and scholar. She is now studying at Quincy University while playing basketball for the school. Evans’ teammates released a statement on Twitter after the attack.
“This past week, one of our own Jazzpher Evans was assaulted,” the team stated. “As the investigation continues, Quincy Women’s Basketball teams stands behind her and her family.”
Quincy University President Brian McGee said the school “supports its students and will never tolerate violence targeting a student.””We will do everything we can to make certain this assault is fully investigated,” McGee said. “We are committed to keeping our students safe, supporting our students, and protecting this community.”
The Quincy University freshman said she went to The Barn with her friend because its one of the few bars near campus. Describing details of the attack, Evans said the bar owner cursed at her, threw her to the ground, punched her and put her in a chokehold.”His arm was so big that he couldn’t even fit it around my neck all the way, to the point where he was pushing my head down,” she said. “I believe he attacked me because I’m Black. The girl that was with me was a white girl. We were doing the same exact thing, standing at the same exact spot and he didn’t say a word to her, didn’t even look in her direction.”
Evans’ mother, Shavon, said her daughter “has been battered and she has been bruised and she will forever have to deal with this.”
“There is nothing that she could have done to provoke him,” Shavon said. “She is 125 pounds. He is 350 plus. That’s not a fight. That’s an assault.”
The parents are asking why the man is still not arrested.
“Why is this guy not locked up right now?” the student’s father, Marvin, said. “Why?”
Police said they haven’t found evidence of racial motivation, but they are investigating the possibility. No matter the result of the investigation, Evans said she’s moving forward.
“My mom loves me, my dad loves me, my community loves me, there is nothing that he could ever do to break my spirit,” the scholar student said.