Gurnee man charged with hate crime after chasing biker with an icepick

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GURNEE — A Gurnee man has been charged with a felony hate crime after he chased a motorcyclist who had a Mexican flag on his bike.

The Lake County News-Sun reported on Thursday that Joseph L. Zens, 67, of the 37100 block of North Shirley Drive in unincorporated Gurnee was held Thursday in Lake County jail on $15,000 bail on charges that include a misdemeanor count of aggravated assault.

The man Zens chased called the police on Wednesday after he was attacked by a man wielding an ice pick and shouting racial slurs and expletives.

From the Lake County News-Sun:

The man, who police said was Hispanic and had a Mexican flag on his motorcycle, had been traveling northbound on North Delany Road near Sunset Avenue in unincorporated Gurnee when a 2009 Hyundai SUV abruptly changed lanes and cut him off, according to the release.

Another vehicle had been pulled over on the side of the road, but the SUV driver changed lanes “recklessly” and nearly caused a crash, said Sgt. Christopher Covelli, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

The motorcyclist followed the SUV for about a block trying to get the license plate number and a vehicle description, according to Covelli and the statement.

The driver of the Hyundai, later identified as Zens, pulled onto West Meyer Road, where he stopped and exited his vehicle, according to the statement. The man allegedly began yelling anti-Mexican racial slurs and expletives before retrieving an ice pick from his vehicle and chasing the victim with it.

Zens court date is Aug. 28.

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