Road rage is one of the most prevalent situations that may end with a verbal dispute, someone being beaten, or even, in the worst cases, someone being shot to death. It continues to be a problem on the highways in the United States.
This kind of road rage incident occurred in Florida, but in this particular road rage incident, the victims did not sustain any injuries other than the stress they had experienced and some minor damage to the vehicle. However, the same cannot be said for the assailant, who took several punches to the face and ended up choked out, since the driver of the victim’s vehicle turned out to be a mixed martial arts fighter.
The man from Florida allegedly tried to run the black mixed martial arts fighter off the road in a racially motivated attack, the police say.
As the 29-year-old attacker, Jordan Patrick Leahy, drove up next to the victim, his girlfriend, and their daughter, who is 4 years old, he yelled racial slurs and made motions as if he were going to shoot them. After first attempting to force the victim off the road, Leahy then aggressively pursued him for nearly a mile and a half before smashing into the side of the victim’s vehicle and fleeing the scene.
The victim, who has been identified as J.T., was unable to notice Leahy’s vehicle license plates during the attack. He was determined to catch up with Leahy’s vehicle and write down the license plates, which he was eventually able to do at a red light. During the attack, J.T. was unable to notice Leahy’s vehicle license plates. According to the documents filed with the court, Leahy then exited his vehicle, ran towards J.T., and tried to assault him while once again yelling racial slurs at him.
Leahy got out of his car, approached J.T., and attempted to punch him while saying, “Fuck you, (n-word)!” However, until this point, Leahy was not aware of the fact that J.T was actually an MMA fighter. J.T. avoided Leahy’s punch and stroked him twice before finally putting him in a chokehold until he passed out.
As soon as the cops came on the scene, Leahy began shouting another string of anti-Black slurs, one of which was that Black people should be kept “in their areas.”
A federal jury in Tampa reached its verdict earlier this month, finding Leahy guilty of committing a hate crime. Now, he may get a term of up to ten years in jail, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
The United States Department of Justice said that the verdict “should send a strong message” to anyone who seeks to “use violence to enforce heinous racist beliefs.”
“No one should be targeted, threatened, intimidated, or assaulted because of their race. The defendant in this case acted upon his bigoted beliefs and put an entire family and others’ safety at risk. We and our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners will not tolerate such behaviors in our community,” said U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg.