Fla. man on trial for hate crime

March 14, 2013 at 1:57 PM

MIAMI, March 14 (UPI) -- A Miami man is on trial charged with hate crimes for allegedly trying to run two black men over with his truck.

Defendant Luis Gonzalez, 51, is charged with two counts of attempted murder with prejudice for allegedly trying to run over Andy Alexander and Travis James in January 2012, The Miami Herald reported.

On the day of the incident, Alexander and James were on their way to a security guard class when their sports utility vehicle broke down in Hialeah. As they were waiting for their SUV to be repaired, Gonzalez shouted racial slurs at them and tried to back his car into them in a parking lot.

James managed to jump out of the way and fire three rounds at the vehicle, sending it crashing into a funeral home across the street.

"I was trying to kill him because he was trying to hit us," James testified Wednesday.

When officers got to the Gonzalez, who was shot in the neck, he alleged that he had been robbed. Alexander and James had left the scene without calling 911 to go to their class.

However, Gonzalez changed his story once police found Alexander and James.

If convicted of the charges against him, Gonzalez faces up to life in prison.

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