A 58-year-old white man has been charged with a hate crime after drunkenly hurling a knife at a group of Black men and spitting racial slurs at them, according to NBC News. The New York Police Department said the man approached the group “unprovoked,” and called them the N-word.
Two Black men and two minors, one Black and one white, had returned to their neighborhood in Staten Island after returning from the beach Wednesday night when the incident occurred, the report says. John Borzumato, who was intoxicated, taunted the group with a knife and spewed racial slurs at them.
“You n——— don’t belong here. You n——— have to get out of here,” Borzumato said per the criminal complaint. Police say he was pulled away by a witness and dropped the knife. However, he went to push one of the men, Nathanial Garcia, who ended up punching him to the ground.
More on the incident from NBC News:
Borzumato, who fell unconscious, was transported to a hospital. He was later charged with menacing as a hate crime in the second degree, menacing in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree and harassment in the second degree, according to a criminal complaint. His next court appearance will be Sept. 27.
Borzumato’s attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.
Garcia was also arrested and charged with assault in the second and third degrees, as well as harassment, his attorney, Adam Uris, told NBC News.
“It’s our belief that once the court has the opportunity to look at the evidence and interview the witnesses in this case, that they will decide not to prosecute this matter,” Uris said. “We’re going to aggressively defend this case until Mr. Garcia is proven innocent.”
This vaguely reminds me of the case where a Black Dunkin’ Donuts employee was being called racial slurs by a white customer and ended up punching him to the ground, as Garcia did. In that case, the man died. However, it makes one think about how racial slurs are considered fighting words and bring about an aggressive reaction.
Garcia’s mother, Krystle Garcia-Bustamante defended her son’s actions and told NBC News he was acting in self-defense.
“He was yelling at them, calling them the N-word and telling them ‘one of you n——— is going to die tonight,’ He hit him one time in order to stop a threat,” she said.
Attorney Uris told NBC Garcia was acting in a manner consistent with his Marine training. Be honest. What was he supposed to do with a drunken racist trying to attack him and two minors with a knife?