By Elisa Bayoumi and Staff
It went down around 1 a.m. on Aug. 6, as a car passed and honked at a slowly moving bicycle in the middle of the 3100 block of M Street NW. After the car turned north onto Wisconsin Avenue, along the 1200 block, the incident turned into a genuine altercation. Bicyclist Maxim Smith of Washington, D.C., hit the car with an object and began to yell, reportedly calling the motorist, Kethezo Paho of Bethesda, Maryland, the n-word, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. Smith, 24, is white, and Paho, 34, an immigrant from Cameroon, is black.
Smith is accused of striking Paho on the head with his U-lock as Paho held his bike and called police. Paho received 18 stitches at the hospital. On Aug. 9, Smith was released by D.C. Superior Court to home detention for 14 days.
The U.S. attorney’s office called the assault “a violent crime” and is considering whether to term it a hate crime.