The victim, identified as J.T., was a mixed martial artist who fought back by placing suspect Jordan Leahy in a chokehold until authorities arrived in the August 2021 incident in Florida.
Florida man convicted in hate crime road rage attack on Black martial artist dad who fought back
A Florida man has been convicted of a hate crime for a road rage incident last year in which he tried to run a Black man driving with his family off the road and assault him — only to find the victim was a mixed-martial artist who fought back and put him in a chokehold.
Jordan Patrick Leahy, 29, was found guilty by a federal jury in Tampa on Wednesday of interfering with the victim's federally protected right to drive on the street in the Aug. 8, 2021 incident in Seminole, Florida, the Department of Justice announced in a release.
Prosecutors called the incident a “racially-motivated attack,” alleging Leahy targeted the victim, identified by the initials J.T., because of his race and color and because he was traveling on a public road.
In the road attack, Leahy came upon J.T. headed to Clearwater, Florida, with his girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter, court documents show.
Leahy pulled alongside J.T., yelled racial slurs and pretended to “shoot” at J.T.’s vehicle with hand gestures, according to trial evidence.
He then used his car to try and force the victim’s car off the road, prosecutors said. Leahy allegedly followed the victim for nearly a mile and a half before he sideswiped J.T's car and fled the scene.
J.T. caught up with Leahy, pulling up behind him at a red light, officials said.
Leahy then "got out of his car, stormed at J.T., and tried to assault him, again yelling racial slur," the release said.