Archive for the ‘hate crime’ Category

Florida: Black driver shot 2 whites in self-defense

December 20, 2007

Miami, Florida

From the Miami Herald of December 19, 2007

Black driver shot 2 whites in self-defense

With one wielding a knife, two men pounded on Hygens Labidou’s roofing truck and shouted racial epithets, authorities said.

”N—–, get out of the truck!” they allegedly snarled, according to a copy of a 911 tape released Tuesday. One of the men, six feet tall and 350 pounds, tried to pull Labidou from the truck.

Moments later, Labidou, fearing for his life, pulled out his 9mm semiautomatic gun and fired, wounding the two Cooper City men — one fatally — in the middle of a busy Deerfield Beach intersection.

Labidou, 49, of Wellington, will not be charged because he acted in self-defense, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

”These two men approached him with a deadly weapon in an aggressive manner,” BSO spokesman Mike Jachles said. “Clearly, he was inside his vehicle, and he was clearly within his right to defend himself.”

Edward Borowsky, 28, died Monday, four days after the shooting. The other man, Steven V. Lonzisero, 43, is under arrest, charged with murder during the commission of a crime. Even though he didn’t pull the trigger, under Florida law, a person can be charged with murder if someone dies while the accused is committing a felony.

Lonzisero also will be charged with a hate crime, the BSO said.

Labidou has a concealed weapons permit, officials said.

The 911 tape reveals a hysterical Labidou, screaming to the dispatcher that he had been attacked.

”I shot them! I shot them!” he yelled during the call, made just after 1 p.m. Thursday.

Labidou apologized to the dispatcher for shouting and then answered her questions.

“Both of them down, both of them are down . . . I knocked ’em both. I’m sorry, ma’am. I was trying to defend myself.”

”They said, n—–, get out of the truck. Both of them,” Labidou said.

Asked by the dispatcher what he did, he replied: “I shot ’em! I wanted to defend myself.”

The BSO is considering the case a hate crime because the attackers, who were white, shouted racial epithets at Labidou, who is black.

The BSO originally charged Lonzisero with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a felony. But just as Lonzisero was set to be released on bond, Borowsky died, escalating the charge to murder.

The incident happened in the middle of the afternoon as the vehicles were driving north on Powerline Road in Deerfield Beach. Lonzisero and Borowsky were in a white Ford pickup truck, along with Lonzisero’s 15-year-old daughter. Labidou, who runs a family-owned roofing company, was driving a flatbed truck.

The BSO said Lonzisero and Borowsky were upset with Labidou’s driving and began arguing with him. It’s not clear where the vehicles were as the drivers were arguing.

But the BSO said the verbal sparring turned violent when Lonzisero stopped his truck at the intersection of Green Road and Powerline in front of Labidou’s flatbed truck.

Lonzisero and Borowsky, who was armed with a knife, got out of the pickup, the BSO said.

Borowsky and Lonzisero pounded on Labidou’s truck, yelling racial epithets at Labidou and trying to open his door, the BSO said. It’s not clear whether Labidou fired from inside his vehicle, but the BSO said he fired several shots, striking both men twice.

The men fell to the pavement, and Labidou and several witnesses called 911.

One caller describes the scene to the 911 dispatcher: “Two guys on the ground. One guy with the gun. He’s on the phone. I don’t know what happened. I didn’t see what happened, but the guy is very calm.”

The caller pauses to yell, “Put the gun down.”

”Stay away from him,” the operator advises.

To which the caller replies: “I am.”

Tuesday night, the upstairs lights were on in Lonzisero’s home in Flamingo Townhomes Phase V. No one answered the door outside the townhome, which had Christmas bells on the door. Neighbors, who asked that their names not be used, said Lonzisero rented the unit and lived there with his three children and their mother, while Borowsky lived downstairs.

Lonzisero was in and out of the family’s lives, they said. The few that knew the two men said they were confrontational.

Another said Lonzisero screamed obscenities at her one day when they were both trying to move their cars.

Labidou runs Impact Roofing in Riviera Beach, according to the company’s website. It’s been around since March 1999.

Further links:
Broward man charged with murder after road rage shooting

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