(WIVB)- Erie County District Attorney John Flynn has now laid hate crime charges against 62- year- old Jeffrey Calhoun who was caught on cell phone video July 22, hanging onto a woman’s arm and her purse after her car rear-ended his on Colvin Boulevard. At one point he shows a handgun as people begin to approach him.
What DA Flynn says was not on the video was Calhoun’s alleged use a racial slur after the video stopped according to a witness.
“A racial slur in and of itself may not be enough to elevate it to a hate crime, some cases it may. In this case I really did have to make that analysis because I had it in the overall context of a case and overall how he acted, what he did together with the alleged use of a racial slur elevated it in my opinion to a hate crime,” Flynn said.
What was originally a robbery charge against him has been replaced by three felonies, Unlawful Imprisonment as a hate crime, Menacing as a hate crime, and Criminal Impersonation.
Calhoun’s attorney would not comment Tuesday until he reviewed the new charges more closely. They could carry up to seven years in prison if convicted. Calhoun remains free on $75-thousand dollars bail until his next court appearance October 2.