A South Florida man is facing a slew of charges, including a hate crime enhancement, after police say he chased down and threatened a pair of African-American children who touched his fence.
The boys, aged 9 and 11, were headed to school last week when they walked past Gabriel Gomez’s Miami home and touched the white iron fence in his front yard, according to a police report cited by the Miami Herald. That was when Gomez burst from his home and ordered them to keep their hands off his property.
His outburst reportedly didn’t come without racist insults, including the N-word. He also called the kids “dirty,” but his rage didn’t end there, police say.
Authorities said Gomez proceeded to terrorize the boys, chasing after them in his truck and aiming an orange-and-black handgun at them through the window.
“If I ever see you on this block or by my house again, I will kill you and nobody’s gonna be able to find you,” he shouted, according to an arrest report.
Gomez is now charged with aggravated assault with a firearm for the March 13 incident. The cops also raided his north Miami home to find an arsenal of weapons, including a custom-made .50-caliber rifle with an orange tip, the Herald reported.
An addition of the hate crime enhancement could lead to far stiffer sentencing than on the assault charges alone if Gomez is convicted.
Attorneys for the defendant held a hearing Friday in a last-ditch effort to modify Gomez’s $100,000 bond, as courts in Miami and across the nation have largely been shuttered due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In fact, the day of Gomez’s reported attack on the youths was the last day before Miami-Dade schools announced that system would move to remote learning amid the growing pandemic.
Gomez has been ordered to remain on house arrest once his bond has been posted. Online jail records show a bond has since been submitted and that Gomez currently is not being held at a county facility.