By Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel
8:54 p.m. EDT, May 17, 2011
A Saudi Arabian student who investigators say spat in the face of a Walmart customer after the customer told her she was going in the wrong door remains in jail on a hate-crime charge, Palm Bay police said.
Nuha Mohammed Al-Doaifi, 31, an engineering student at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, was being held late Tuesday at the Brevard County Jail. Bail is set at $5,000.
Al-Doaifi was arrested Sunday on a charge of battery. The hate-crime determination means the charge could be elevated to a felony, said Yvonne Martinez, a police spokeswoman.
"Americans are pushing us around," Al-Doaifi told police as they approached to arrest her, a report states.
Al-Doaifi was with her 15-month-old son, who was sitting in a shopping cart. An item on the cart had saliva on it, an officer wrote. The state Department of Children and Families turned the boy over to his father when his mother was taken to jail.
The father told officers that Al-Doaifi spat at an FIT professor two or three weeks ago, they said. The school's dean notified the Saudi Arabian Embassy, which counseled her, Martinez said.