Joseph Paul Leonard, Jr. revved his engine and burned rubber for 23 feet before running down and killing an African-American man with his pickup truck following an argument outside a California McDonalds last year, but he says he was defending himself. While many would admit they got a ‘little out of hand,’ at minimum, Leonard knows who is really to blame — that bastard Barack Obama!
“Just because we got Obama for a president, these people think they are real special,” Leonard, 62, said following his arrest for the brutal attack. After running 34-year-old Toussaint Harrison over with his truck, Leonard got out of the vehicle and kicked the African-American man in the head with his steel-toed boots.
Prosecutors say the racially-motivated incident began as Harrison and friend Justin Oliphant were handing out food to the homeless outside the Sacramento area fast food restaurant, though defense attorneys claim that the pair had stolen the food from a nearby hotel.
A friend of Leonard’s says that the two men approached her outside the restaurant and “asked if she was hungry.”Sheriff’s Detective Pamela Linke testified at the preliminary hearing that Silva “described that he went crazy and lost his temper.”
Leonard was captured on camera grabbing a chain from his pickup truck and swinging it around Lone Ranger style above his head. Oliphant says the two men hurled slurs at him and Harrison, and stomped on Harrison’s bicycle.
Investigators say that during the conflict, one of the two men threw a broken bottle at the Obama-hating wannabe cowboy, cutting his cheek. The two men fled from the confrontation on foot, but Harrison was not finished. He hopped in his truck and attempted to mow down Oliphant, then successfully ran over Harrison outside an auto repair shop.
An employee grabbed a metal bar from the shop and cemented his position as “badass of the day” by holding Leonard there until police arrived.
“I grabbed a big ol’ 4-foot pry bar and threatened him with that,” the employee said. “I reached in and grabbed the keys out of the ignition and then demanded him to sit down. Told him he wasn’t going anywhere.”
James Hurst, a friend of Leonard’s, says that the attacker is a former Navy SEAL who is supposed to take regular medicine for post-traumatic stress disorder, but he suspects that the accused has been skipping doses.
“I’ve been talking to him about that lately, for him to keep up with his meds,” Hurst said. “He acts like he is, but I know he’s not.”
Leonard says the entire incident, including when he chased the men down in his truck, was self-defense.
“This could have happened to your son if you had one out there,” Leonard told a deputy in a police car, following his arrest.“This got too outta hand for me, man. I was in fear for my life. You see what they did to me? You make sure you include that in the report. … I beat them off me. … They cut me.”
“You know, I think people are getting tired of being abused by the situation, the way people are being,” Harrison said. “I myself am tired of it. I am victimized every time I turn around.”
Leonard’s defense attorney said that his client has been violently attacked in the past with no charges being filed, but the defense claims that there have been numerous instances in which he was the aggressor. The defense is seeking to block prosecutors from cross-examining Leonard, who will be testifying on his own behalf, about incidents outside of Sacramento County that resulted in criminal charges.
Watch a report on the racially motivated killing: