Man denies saying ‘Go back where you came from’

MABLETON, Georgia (AP) – A white man has admitted cursing at a pregnant black Georgia lawmaker for taking too many items into a supermarket express lane but denies telling her, “go back where you came from”.

Eric Sparkes showed up during a WSB-TV interview with Representative Erica Thomas of Austell last Saturday, outside the Atlanta-area Publix store where the incident occurred, the station reported .

He denied making any racially charged comment, adding, “I am Cuban.”

Thomas confronted Sparkes in front of reporters and said he had “degraded and berated” her.

She has told The Associated Press she notified police and will seek store video.

In a tearful Facebook video posted last Friday, Thomas said she was in the express line because she is nine months pregnant and cannot stand for long. Thomas’ video went viral as the hashtag #IStandwithErica trended on Twitter.

Last Saturday, Sparkes told reporters he called her a vulgarity but did not say anything racial.

Thomas said Sparkes was just trying to make himself look better.

Sparkes said he’s a Democrat and was being unjustly attacked for political purposes.

Representative Erica Thomas of Austell speaks during a news conference in Atlanta. – AP