A road rage incident in Southfield, Michigan, has resulted in the arrest and charging of Alexander Gojcevic, a 25-year-old man from Farmington Hills.
The altercation occurred on Sunday, May 14, when Gojcevic and a 62-year-old man got into a dispute while driving on a highway. According to the complaint filed by the victim, Gojcevic altered his course and followed him.
As the conflict escalated, Gojcevic allegedly hurled racial slurs at the man, and the two came to blows. Gojcevic then returned to his car to retrieve a weapon and stabbed the victim with a knife, before slashing his tires.
Fortunately, the victim, who is Black and a concealed pistol license holder, raised his firearm but did not shoot. An eyewitness also pulled out a gun but did not fire it. The victim sustained minor injuries.
Gojcevic has been charged with ethnic intimidation, felonious assault, and malicious destruction of property. These charges hold a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a little under $10,000 in fines. Following his arraignment, he was given a $25,000 cash surety bond and is scheduled to appear in a probable cause conference on May 31.
Prosecutor Karen McDonald has set up a special Hate Crimes Unit within Oakland County’s Special Victims Unit to address the concerning increase in the number of racial and ethnic intimidation cases.
According to the 2021 Crime in Michigan Annual Report, there were 610 incidents of hate/bias crimes perpetrated against 769 people in Michigan.
Race was the highest motivation to commit hate crimes, with anti-Black crimes leading the list with 269 people listed as victims. More than 22% of all hate crimes committed in 2021 happened on a highway, road, alley, street, or sidewalk, local station Fox 2 reports.
McDonald condemned the behavior, stating, “Maliciously attacking another driver while yelling racial slurs is unacceptable, and my office intends to hold this defendant, and anyone else who commits hate crimes, accountable.” She added, “All residents deserve to feel safe in their homes, in public, and on our roads.”