A Hispanic man in Wisconsin has been charged with a hate crime after he allegedly crashed a pickup truck into a white motorcyclist on purpose, killing the rider.
Daniel Navarro, 27, was charged with intentional homicide, recklessly endangering safety, and use of a dangerous weapon over the July 3 incident. The alleged offenses have been designated a hate crime, which, if convicted, will result in additional jail time.
Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt said at a press conference that Navarro told a deputy at the scene that he deliberately swerved into oncoming traffic to hit the white rider of a Harley-Davidson.
The rider, Phillip Thiessen, 55, was pronounced dead at the scene. His obituary said he was a former Marine, police officer, and special agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, where he retired two years ago.
“He loved riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle on scenic drives and would often go on riding adventures with his best friend, Martin,” the obituary said. “Phillip was a generous, caring, loyal man that made friends easily anywhere he went, and maintained long distance friendships for many years.”
The men did not know each other, according to authorities.
Waldschmidt said Navarro told detectives he targeted Thiessen because he was riding a Harley and “in Wisconsin white people drive Harley-Davison motorcycles and that the Harley culture is made up of white racists."
He said Navarro “chose a motorcycle instead of a car because he wanted the driver to die and not just be injured or paralyzed.”
Navarro told detectives he’s been the victim of racism from white people because he’s Hispanic and that “people are going to have to die.”
“Navarro said that if President Donald Trump and white people are going to create the world we are living in he has no choice and that people are going to have to die,” Waldschmidt said.
Navarro alleged that he's been harassed, drugged, poisoned, and verbally attacked by white people. He claimed that “he could hear one of his neighbors making racist comments through the walls of this residence,” according to the Fond du Lac Reporter.
Navarro appeared in Fond du Lac County court Thursday and bail was set at $1 million cash.
His defense attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.