Last week, HuffPost Miami reported that a Hialeah man was robbed, shot in the head, survived, and ran his truck into a nearby funeral home. Hialeah police reported that the victim was alert and working with investigators at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
But as it turns out, Luis Alberto Gonzalez was not actually the victim of an attempted robbery. He was the suspect in a hate crime.
At a press conference Wednesday, Hialeah Police Chief Mark Overton said that when taking statements from Gonzalez, "certain things did not measure up."
According the arrest affidavit obtained by the Miami Herald, the alleged robbery suspects, Tarvis James and Andy Alexander were interviewed separately and their statements matched.
They said Gonzalez yelled "niggers" at them before getting in his car and accelerating towards them. James jumped out of the way and fired three shots at Gonzalez.
At the press conference, James said "When he said the N-word, I didn't feel nothing. But as I heard the vehicle coming towards me and my brother, it was very scary."
According to the arrest affidavit, Gonzalez admitted he lied about the robbery. He also told police that Alexander and James "appeared arrogant" as they walked past him.
Overton states, "Mr. Gonzalez initiated an unprovoked, racially-motivated attack. This crime is a classic example of what that hate crime statute was written for."
Gonzalez also told police he was victimized during Miami's 1980 McDuffie riots and has been prejudiced against black people ever since.
As for the suspects-now-victims, they are thankful for the work of the Hialeah police department. James said at the press conference, "On behalf and me and brother, you did your job very well. And I appreciate and I love you for that."
According to follow-up by WSVN7, the gun James carried for protection was entirely legal and no charges will be filed against him.
Gonzalez is charged with two counts of attempted murder with prejudice in the second degree, filing a false police report, and hate crime.
Watch excerpts from the press conference below.
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