D.C. police are investigating an altercation in Georgetown as a possible hate crime after a bicycle rider allegedly struck a motorist in the head with a metal bike lock before repeatedly calling the motorist the n-word.
Police arrested 24-year-old Maxim Regan Smith, who has no fixed address, and charged him with assault with a dangerous weapon and misdemeanor destruction of property after police said he struck the driver during a verbal altercation in the 1200 block of Wisconsin Avenue NW.
According to charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court, Smith was riding his bike westbound in the center lane in the 3100 block of M Street.
The driver was in his car behind Smith and became angry that Smith was riding slowly, according to police. As the driver went past Smith, police said, Smith reached out and hit his car trunk with an object.
The driver then stopped his car and threatened to call police to report the damage. As Smith tried to pedal away, the driver grabbed Smith’s bike, police said. Smith then repeatedly called the driver the racial slur, police said, and struck him in the head with the bicycle U-lock. Prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office will decide whether there is enough evidence to charge Smith with a hate crime.
Smith was arrested minutes afterward and at an initial hearing was ordered to remain in D.C. jail until a follow-up hearing Thursday.