A Phoenix man was charged with aggravated assault after beating a man who he claimed muttered a racial slur toward him in a road rage incident.
After being taken into custody, Floyd Latham, 59, admitted to pulling a motorist from his car in the March 18 incident, but claimed he was provoked when the driver called him the N-word multiple times. According to The Arizona Republic, Latham pulled the man from his vehicle and began using his knee to strike the victim’s right leg and threw punches to his body as he lay on the ground. He also admitted that he positioned his vehicle in front of the other person’s car before walking towards him, as well as holding the man down with his hands and his knee.
According to Phoenix station KNXV-TV, a witness at the scene was able to take down Latham’s license plate and came forward several days later. Latham was then taken into custody at his home on March 27 after being identified. The Republic noted that the man was taken to the hospital with a broken right femur. The man has not been publicly identified by police.
KNXV reported that this incident marks the fifth road rage attack in 2019, but Phoenix police believe that the bigger problem lies in the extent of the violence.
“What’s alarming is the violence which some of these cases have risen to,” Phoenix police Sgt. Vince Lewis told the station. “In my experience as a police officer investigating these things, typically your emotions will get the better of you and that’s what leads to these interactions.”
Latham has been booked in the Maricopa County jail and is being held on $180,000 bond. The Republic reported that as of Wednesday, Latham was not yet assigned a defense attorney and was expected to appear in court on Thursday.