VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A 21-year-old man faces a hate crime charge after Volusia County deputies say he threatened a family with a gun while shouting racial slurs at them.
Nicholas Gordon was arrested Monday following a traffic stop. Body camera video of the traffic stop can be seen below.
According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the 2500 block of N. Spring Garden Ave. on Sunday afternoon.
A mother and father told deputies that a yellow car with four men inside of it pulled along the side of their car while they were driving south on South Spring Garden Avenue. One of the passengers — later identified as Gordon, according to deputies — pulled out a black handgun and said “I will kill you (expletives).”
The victims — whose two children were also in the car — told investigators they drove off and tried to put distance between their car and Gordon’s.
However, the victims said they were forced to stop at a red light at the intersection of North Spring Garden Avenue and West International Speedway Boulevard, records show.
The yellow car then caught up with the victims and the driver stepped out and started yelling more obscenities at the family and threatened them again, though no weapon was shown this time, records show. The driver then got back in the car and drove off.
After the car took off the victims called 911.
“There’s a yellow car next to us with a gun. He said he’s going to kill us,” the caller said to the dispatcher.
“Did he pull out the gun and point it at you?” the dispatcher asked.
“Yes, the passenger did and I happened to look over to the right and you could see the words coming out of his mouth, he said ‘I’m going to kill you,’” the caller said.
Detectives said they were able to track down surveillance video from a business that showed the victim’s vehicle being followed by a yellow Chevrolet Spark. They said the same video later showed the yellow Spark driving away in the opposite direction.
On Monday, a deputy spotted a yellow Chevrolet Spark that matched the surveillance video and initiated a traffic stop.
The body camera video shows Gordon was driving the car and asked to step out of the vehicle. The video clip ends when other deputies arrive on the scene.
Detectives questioned Gordon and said he denied any involvement in the incident, but later admitted to being the passenger in the car. Gordon then claimed that the victims had backed into his car and tried to drive off, adding that he and his friends were trying to catch up with them to exchange information, records show. Investigators said they saw no damage on Gordon’s car.
When asked why he armed himself, Gordon said “he knew (the victims) were African American and he knew from past experiences African Americans can be violent,” according to a news release. Investigators said Gordon admitted the family had done nothing threatening to him.
“This type of behavior will not be tolerated in Volusia County,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said in a statement. “I want everyone to know this Sheriff’s Office will do everything possible to track down and arrest anyone who commits such an abhorrent act of hate in this community.”
Gordon faces two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, child abuse and carrying a concealed firearm. Because the case is classified as a hate crime, the charges are enhanced.
Gordon is being held without bail at the Volusia County jail.
Listen to the 911 call in the player below: