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Mystic merchants rally around assault victim

With the victim now out of work, dealing with multiple injuries, many Mystic merchants are stepping up with gift cards to their businesses.

A week and a half after a black employee was attacked by a white couple, at a Mystic hotel, Stonington police still do not have the couple in custody. But, the community is extending its arms to the victim.

Crystal Caldwell, on Friday, June 26, was attacked by a New York couple, who allegedly called her a monkey and said she didn’t deserve to live. And, with the 59-year-old now out of work, dealing with multiple injuries, many Mystic merchants are stepping up with gift cards to their businesses.

The Mystic Army Navy has been the primary collection spot for local merchants donating gift cards to Caldwell.

"And, we’re really happy with the response," said Michelle Gemma, Owner of Mystic Army Navy. "Everyone has been extremely generous. In fact, a donation just came in."

The businesses donating all say they’re stunned that something like this would happen in their community.

"When she comes in, I would like to have a nice talk with her, heart-to-heart talk," said Patricia Mainville, Owner of The Rose.

39-year-old Philip Sarner and his 28 year old girlfriend, Emily Orbay, who live on Long Island, remain at-large. Stonington Police yesterday issued arrest warrants for both, charging Sarner with second-degree assault, which is a felony. But, no racial bias or hatred charges.

"From the comments they made, calling her a monkey and then texting and Facebook messaging afterward, we think that there’s enough evidence to say that the assault was motivated by the color of her skin," said Caldwell's lawyer, John Strafaci.

"I pray that the attorneys will find justice for Miss Caldwell," said Gemma.

"It’s kind of heartbreaking, really, when you think about it," said Mainville.

If you would like to make a donation to Crystal Caldwell, you can do so by stopping by or calling the Mystic Army Navy at 860.536.1877 

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