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‘I Wasn’t Myself at the Time’: D.C. Man High On Drugs Defends Brutal Attack That Left Black Man With 21 Stitches; Sentenced to Jail Time

A white bicyclist was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday in the wake of an incident in which he repeatedly called a Black driver the N-word and violently beat him with a bike lock in Washington, D.C.

Maxim Smith, 25, was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault with significant injury in June.

The attack left 35-year-old Ketchazo Paho needing 21 stitches.

White man with black man injured
Maxim Smith, 25, (left) was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison after beating Ketchazo Paho, 35, with a bike lock last year. (Photos by S. Lee Merritt’s Twitter page and Paho’s Twitter page)

“Violence and hate is not the answer. Think things through,” Paho said in a Twitter post Tuesday about the sentencing. 

Authorities said Smith was slowly biking ahead of Paho on August 6, 2018, when the driver tried to pass Smith and the cyclist smacked the back of the car.

Paho stopped, got out of the car, called 911 and grabbed Smith’s bike to keep him on the scene. Smith testified that it was then that he used the slur against Paho, a Cameroonian immigrant, and hit him in the head with the metal u-lock to get away, the Washington Post reported. Smith is a native of Ukraine who was adopted by an American couple as a teenager.

Smith was reportedly under the influence of alcohol and cocaine during the attack.

“I wasn’t myself at the time,” he told the court during his trial. “I should not have been on the road.” 

He said he learned to use the N-word listening to rap music as a teenager and growing up with Black friends in Washington.

The Washington Post reports Smith faces another trial in October in connection to a misdemeanor destruction of property case involving a Black Lyft driver last year. Smith is charged with damaging the window of the driver’s car while swerving his bicycle erratically, an incident in which he’s also alleged to have called the driver the N-word.

Smith has been ordered to three years of supervised release following his prison stint, the Daily Mail reported.

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