BUFFALO — A 62-year-old Lockport man was indicted Tuesday on three charges, two as hate crimes, for a July 16 attack on a motorist in North Buffalo.
Jeffrey Calhoun was arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns on first-degree unlawful imprisonment and second-degree menacing, both of which are being prosecuted as hate crimes, according to a release from Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.
The hate crimes prosecution elevates the imprisonment charge to a more serious felony and the menacing charge to a felony.
Calhoun was also charged with first-degree criminal impersonation, a felony, and third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, though those charges are not being prosecuted as hate crimes.
The incident began when the victim, who is black, rear-ended a vehicle driven by Calhoun, who is white, about 11:25 a.m. July 16 on Colvin Avenue near Sanders Road in Buffalo.
Calhoun is accused of grabbing the victim, biting her left arm, throwing her to the ground and using a racial slur. He also allegedly displayed a handgun and claimed to be a police officer.
Calhoun was charged with unlawful imprisonment because he allegedly took the woman's purse and car keys, preventing her from leaving.
Video taken by a bystander shows Calhoun pointing a handgun toward the victim and others who were present during the incident.
If convicted of the unlawful imprisonment charge, Calhoun could face up to seven years in prison.
He is due back in court Oct. 2, and is free on $75,000 bail that was posted in Buffalo City Court.