DULUTH, Ga. — A Gwinnett County man was hit with fines and charges after a video depicted a road rage meltdown that included homophobic slurs and racially insensitive gestures toward Asians.
“I was very afraid something worse might have happened,” one of the victims said, who asked only to be identified as D.K.
Duluth Police say Matthew Chambers, 45, blocked traffic for nearly seven minutes at Pleasant Hill Rd near Peachtree Industrial Blvd while hurling homophobic attacks at two men in a car.
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The video shows Chambers intentionally stopped his car at the light during three red light cycles and refused to move.
“I’m not moving,” Chambers is heard saying in the video.
“I was very scared,” said D.K. “At the same time, I’m like, ‘This guy may have a gun, he’s about to smash my car, he’s about to pull us out,’ I’m not sure what he was going to do.”
D.K. said he and his brother work in the beauty industry and the way they dress may have triggered the hate speech.
While Chambers was in the car, the video shows him appearing to mock an Asian language and make a gesture offensive toward Asians.
“He did the eye gesture where he pulled his eyes back,” D.K. said.
The incident happened on April 25 at around 5 in the evening, forcing other cars to maneuver around during rush hour traffic.
The victim said he remembers Chambers cutting them off and then stopping in front of them at a light.
“This was something that was unprovoked,” he said, “I don’t know what caused it.”
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Duluth Police went to Chambers’ house to get his side within an hour of the incident being reported.
Chambers told the officers the brothers were driving erratically and then slowly, according to body camera video.
“Was it worth acting the way you did afterwards?” one of the officers asks Chambers.
“Well no,” Chambers responds on the body cam video, “because it was a huge waste of my time obviously.”
Police eventually charged him with 8 traffic offenses and a fine over $1700.
The victim said he hopes more people can drive with less anger.
“It was uncalled for,” he said. “It was something I hope nobody has to ever go through.”
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