Eric Sparkes Biography
Eric Sparkes is the man who was accused of verbally abusing Georgia Representative Erica Thomas, asking her to ‘go back where you came from’. According to his LinkedIn, he is a technical support analyst and has also worked in warehouse management. He previously owned a restaurant called Your Dinner in Woodstock, Georgia.
Eric Sparkes Age
Sparkes is 56 years old.
Eric Sparkes Ethnicity
Sparkes is of Cuban descent.
Eric Sparkes Democrat
Sparkes is a Democrat
Eric Sparkes Georgia
Sparkes is a Georgia resident since 2005, having spent time in Norcross, Atlanta and now Mableton.
Eric Sparkes Facebook
Eric Sparkes Erica Thomas
On July 19, 2019 Representative Eric Thomas in a Facebook live video claimed that she was verbally attacked by a white man while at a supermarket.
“Today I was verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man who told me I was a lazy SOB and to go back to where I came from bc I had to many items in the express lane. My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA! …This white man comes up to me and says, ‘You lazy son of a bitch. … You need to go back where you came from’, I said, ‘Sir, you don’t even know me. I’m not lazy. I’m nine months pregnant.”
On July 20, Sparkes sent an email to Lauren Pozen, who is a reporter at WSBTV identifying himself as the alleged customer who was racist to Eric. The email read;
“I am the supposed racist customer that spoke to Ms. Thomas at Publix yesterday. I found out that it is all over the internet. Ms. Thomas is playing the victim over something that she caused by her reaction from me asking about her being in the express 10 item or less lane with over 20 items. Her reaction immediately was condemnation and attacking me verbally by saying it wasn’t my business. I NEVER ONCE TOLD HER TO GO BACK TO WHATEVER. I am Cuban and I have felt prejudice [sic] racism as a child. Noone that knows me personally would ever believe I would say such a mean thing. She assumes because I am white that it’s about race. This woman is her own worst own enemy….”
Here is the email the customer accused of verbally harassing Representative Erica Thomas sent me after our report at 12. Our team met up with him that afternoon in what ended up being a heated confrontation between him and Thomas. That part of the story is ahead starting at 9. pic.twitter.com/Vre8jFH6U6
— Lauren Pozen WSB (@LaurenPozenWSB) July 21, 2019
While talking to WSB-TV he admitted that he called Thomas a ‘bitch’ but he denied telling her to go back where she came from.
“That’s all I said after that, and I walked out of Publix. Her words stating on [Facebook] in her video, stating I told her she needs to go back where she came from are untrue.”
He also accused Thomas of fabricating the story for ‘political purposes’;
“I am Cuban, I am not white. I am light, but I am Cuban. I was raised with a Cuban grandmother who did not speak any English in the late 60s and 70s. I felt racism and prejudice. I’m not playing this victim. This woman, Ms. Thomas, is playing the victim because she is a state legislator. I am a Democrat No. 1, I vote Democrat No. 2. My Facebook, I will make it public, all my statements are anti-Trump, anti-Republican, anti-Racism, anti-bigotry. This lady does not know me. She’s using this to get on camera for political purposes without contacting me.”
Sparkes added that it was only about her personality and he stood up against her because if ‘ we all do not stand up to people who are rude, it just keeps on continuing and continuing and continuing through society.’
“It was only about her personally. I’m Hispanic, I don’t care what she thinks. She’s doing it for political purposes. … I’ve never used those terms, I’m disgusted with those terms. I’m tired of selfishness and rudeness. If we all do not stand up to people who are rude, it just keeps on continuing and continuing and continuing through society. She blew it out of proportion. … I don’t like using foul language, it’s not me.”
Eric Sparkes Publix
On July 20 when Thomas was being interviewed by local news stations outside of the Publix store where the original incident occurred Eric appeared revealing himself. The two got into another confrontation.
Sparkes said he had gone back to the store to speak with the manager when he saw TV cameras in the parking lot and decided to speak to them. Sparkes told the news stations that when he saw Thomas in the express lane that says ’10 items or less’ and she had more than 10 items he felt frustrated and went to the customer associates at Publix and talked to them by the front door but he was told the employees could do nothing as it’s not Publix’s policy and they are not allowed to confront any customers about the express lane, but a customer can.
After the second confrontation, Eric posted on his Facebook;
“Ms Thomas unfortunately doesn’t want to take any responsibility for her aggressive behavior in front of her own daughter by taking confrontational steps towards me inside Publix after only wanting to point out she [sic] was in the express with too many items. I’ve taken responsibility for using a foul word. The foul word would have never occurred if Ms Thomas had not initiated aggression. Just as Ms Thomas showed her aggression during my interview with the local news.”
Thomas on her part took to Twitter and said Sparkes sounded like a coward and claimed to have witnesses that will testify.
So Eric Sparkes admits to approaching me and verbally assulting me in front of my 9 year and but not the rest of his statements. You sounds like a coward to me and that’s fine you will think twice before you berate any one again!You keep lying we have witnesses that will testify! pic.twitter.com/HRWTBZ89SC
— Erica Thomas (@itsericathomas) July 21, 2019