HOUSTON - A man has been arrested for what prosecutors are calling a hate crime. He is accused of swinging a machete at a group of Hispanic men, then trying to run them over.
31-year-old Emerson Muñoz has spent the last decade in and out of a jail cell. His criminal history began in 2009. He's been arrested for DWI trespassing theft and drug possession.
He began the New Year being handcuffed at the Home Depot in the 6800 block of West Sam Houston Parkway.
Police say he was drunk and apparently ignored a written note he or someone else had posted on his speedometer.
"Emerson, do not drive drunk to your after party," a prosecutor read from court documents in his probable cause hearing.
It was 8:15 a.m.
Police say Muñoz had asked four Hispanic men in the parking lot if they had a cigarette and a light. When they said no, Munoz allegedly went into a tirade.
"Was belligerent and screaming obscenities in regards to illegal immigrants," the prosecutor said.
Police say Muñoz got a machete out of his truck.
"The defendant began calling them illegals, trash, and he was an American," said the prosecutor. "After yelling these obscenities he began running towards them swinging the machete in an attempt to hit him with the machete."
Police say Muñoz then jumped into his truck and then tried to run the men over in the parking lot.
He is currently charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and DWI. Prosecutors are looking at enhancing those charges to make the case a hate crime.