A white bicyclist who attacked a Black motorist in Georgetown last year following a dispute with the driver was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison.
The Washington Post reports, 25-Year-Old Maxim Smith will serve a 36-month prison sentence followed by three years of supervised release for the charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault with significant injury.
On August 6, 2018, Smith, who is white, was riding his bicycle in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C., when he got into an altercation with driver Ketchazo Paho, a Black man who is a native of Cameroon.
The fight began after Paho pulled over to assess damage to his car. He then called the police to report that Smith smacked the back of the vehicle when he tried to get around him.
Smith saw Paho calling the police and “aggressively” rode his bicycle back to confront him, according to investigators.
“Are you really calling the police?” Smith yelled as he returned, repeatedly calling him the N-word.
The Ukrainian swears he’s no racist, but instead learned the word from rap music.
During their fight, Smith attacked Paho with his metal U-Lock for his bicycle, causing severe injuries to the victim’s head.
While the jury did not make a unanimous verdict on the charge of a hate crime, Paho says charges should have included attempted murder, as he wrote on Twitter, when posting the photos of his injuries.
“I wasn’t myself at the time,” Smith, who was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time of the attack, reportedly told the court. “I should not have been on the road.”
Smith insisted the use of the N-word was intended to “emotionally hurt,” Paho, but that he’s no racist and grew up in a predominantly African-American area of Washington, D.C., with the majority of his friends being Black.
In October, Smith will face trial again for a separate incident also involving a Black driver, whom he also called the N-word.
Paho, who received 21 stitches to his head from the injuries, tweeted after the verdict, “Violence and hate is not the answer. Think things through…”
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