“Just because we got Obama for a president, these people think they are real special,” John Paul Leonard reportedly told police when explaining why he ran over a black man.
After being arrested on vehicular assaυlt charges, Leonard pleaded self defense, but video played in court on Thursday of Leonard in the back of a patrol car indicates that his actions were racially motivated.
Leonard ran over Toussaint Harrison, 34, in June of 2013, and after Harrison passed away two days later, the charges against Leonard were upgraded to mυrder.
Not only did Leonard run over Harrison, he also got out of his vehicle and kιcked the man several times as he lay critically injured on the ground.
Leonard also faces attempted mυrder charges, prosecutors say, for also trying to run over Toussaint’s friend, Justin Oliphant.
Leonard, who was with friend Samantha Silva, became enraged after Oliphant and Harrison arrived in the parking lot of a McDonald’s and tried to feed a homeless with food they’d brought back from a hotel.
“Silva came out of the McDonald’s first and was approached by the two men. She told sheriff’s investigators that one of the two men ‘asked if she was hungry,’ according to one deputy’s testimony. Oliphant testified at Leonard’s preliminary hearing in May that he also may have asked her for a cigarette. While he and Harrison were talking to her, Leonard emerged from the McDonald’s, ‘and she described that he went crazy and lost his temper,’ sheriff’s Detective Pamela Linke testified at the hearing,” reports the Sacramento Bee.
Leonard first swung a chain like a lasso at the men, then the men threw sharp objects back at Leonard.
“I was in fear for my life. You see what they did to me? You make sure you include that in the report. … I beαt them off me. … They cuυ me,” Leonard told the deputy who arrived at the scene.
Leonard also used a racial slur during the assault.