NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A man has been arrested after he allegedly threatened a Black homeowner at gunpoint and yelled racial slurs at him as he went to check his mailbox.
The incident happened on June 14 along Northwest North Little River Drive, near 12th Court, in Northwest Miami-Dade.
Miami-Dade Police arrested 58-year-old Joseph Fucheck, who was apparently caught on cellphone video threatening the man while holding a firearm. Fucheck also has a long criminal history and is a convicted felon, court records show.
He faces charges of aggravated assault with a firearm with prejudice and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, both second-degree felonies.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said the incident was about hate and intimidation, driving prosecutors to charge him with a hate crime.
“There’s no other conclusion that one can draw other than this was racially motivated,” Fernandez Rundle said via Zoom. “He just, he really just lashes out at Mr. Wynn. There was no provocation. It’s going to be an enhanced penalty of a hate crime because clearly that all those violent acts were caused by that person’s racism. We’re just seeing time and time again that racism is real, and racism plays out on street corners, in front of your home, in the most innocent of places to the most innocent of people. We’re going to do everything humanly possible to bring justice.”
According to the arrest warrant, Dwayne Wynn, a Black man, was standing across the street from his home speaking to his neighbor when he saw a man in a red Jeep pull up and put something in his mailbox.
While Wynn was reading the card, which was an offer to buy homes for cash, the driver came back and confronted Wynn at gunpoint before yelling some racist remarks.
“If it was your property, why didn’t you come over there?” the man said while holding a firearm. “If it was your property, why didn’t you come over there?”
When the victim asked why the man was carrying a firearm, the man replied, “You’re damn right I carry a [expletive gun]! Damn right I’m going to carry a gun because I’m a 35-year Navy SEAL, and I was the head of the SWAT Team in Hillsborough County. That’s right! Go look at my Purple Heart and take my tags.”
However, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Fucheck has not worked for the department in any capacity.
After the confrontation ended, the man could be seen putting his gun away and going back into his Jeep. However, police said he continued going after the victim from the driver’s seat, yelling racial slurs before driving off.
“[Expletive],” the man said.
Wynn asked, “‘You said [expletive]?'”
“That’s right. That’s what you are,” the man replied.
Not long after the 58-year-old’s arrest, Fernandez Rundle and Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez each released a statement regarding the incident.
“It is sad that racism can turn the most mundane act into a confrontation with potentially violent overtones,” Fernandez Rundle said. “All Mr. Wynn wanted to do was go into his mailbox for his mail.”
“There is no place in our diverse county for hate and the violence that too often spawns from it,” Ramirez said.
No one was seriously injured during the confrontation.
Fucheck could be sentenced up to 15 years in prison if convicted, according to Fernandez Rundle.
7News cameras captured Fucheck being brought into jail on Tuesday evening.
He appeared before a judge on Wednesday morning.
“I’m not physically fit to stay in jail,” Fucheck told the judge.
The judge ordered for him to remain in jail at least until his bond hearing on Monday.
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