A 57-year-old Latino motorcyclist, whose bike displayed a Mexican flag, was attempting to take down the license plate on a 2009 Hyundai SUV when its driver allegedly attacked him with an ice pick and told him to “go back to his country,” authorities said.
The encounters happened while the victim was driving in Gurnee, Illinois, on Wednesday morning, on Aug. 14, when Gurnee resident Joseph Zens, suddenly changed his lanes and cut him off. Zens was said to have allegedly pull over, exit the vehicle, began yelling expletives and racial slurs at him, authorities said.
The victim was then being chased and hit by an ice pick that Zens took from his vehicle. He called 911.
Zens was arrested at his home without incident after deputies spoke to him and found the ice pick in his possession.
After reviewing the facts of the case, Lake County State’s Attorney Michael G. Nerheim approved the charge of felony hate crime. Zens was also charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault, according to the release from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Zens was released on a $15,000 bond. He will appear in court on Aug. 28.