‘Why people like you get shot’: Florida man charged with threatening Black man checking mail

‘Why people like you get shot’: Florida man charged with threatening Black man checking mail
Joseph Fucheck, 58, of Miami, is charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection with a racist and homophobic tirade against a Black man June 14, 2020, in a Miami-Dade County neighborhood. Fucheck's case is being prosecuted as a hate crime. (Miami-Dade County Jail, Getty Images)

MIAMI — Dwayne Wynn was standing outside, chatting with a neighbor, last month when he saw a man pull up to his mailbox and place a flier inside before driving away.

When Wynn, who is Black, checked the mailbox to see what was inside, he suddenly found himself looking down the barrel of a gun and subjected to a barrage of profanity and racial epithets that have put the man with the gun behind bars.

Joseph Maximilian Fucheck, 58, of Miami, is charged with aggravated assault with a firearm with prejudice and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

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Fucheck, who is white, is being held without bond in the Miami-Dade County Jail.

Rundle said in a statement that the incident “was about hate, pure and simple.”

“It is sad that racism can turn the most mundane act into a confrontation with potentially violent overtones,” Rundle said. “All Mr. Wynn wanted to do was go into his mailbox for his mail. Suddenly, as the video shows, Mr. Fucheck accosted him with a barrage of ugly statements and racial slurs.

“This incident was about much, much more than the obnoxious behavior of an irate man arming himself and screaming at someone he did not know and had no reason to fear.”

The state attorney said in a news release that Wynn and his neighbor were talking outside the neighbor’s house June 14 in Miami’s Little River neighborhood when he saw Fucheck drive up in a red Jeep Cherokee and park at his own home. After Fucheck drove away, Wynn walked to his mailbox to find a 3x5 card printed with Fucheck’s name and the phrases, “We Buy Houses … CASH!” and “We Buy Houses … FAST!”

Wynn walked back across the street to resume his conversation with his friend.

“When he heard a car approaching, Mr. Wynn looked up and saw Fucheck’s Jeep coming down the street towards him,” the news release said. “Fucheck allegedly parked the car between Mr. Wynn and his home, jumped out of his vehicle, and began a profanity-laced rant, stating, ‘That’s not your property mother(expletive)! I saw you! I was down the street watching you!

“‘I saw you take that out of there. You’re just a mother(expletive) nosey neighbor! Give me my card, that’s my property!‘”

Fucheck then allegedly lunged at Wynn twice before pulling out a gun.

“Mother(expletive), you’re going to give me that mother(expletive) card. That’s my property!” Fucheck continued.

Some of the witnesses who saw the confrontation, which included children, began trying to divert Fucheck’s attention away from Wynn, who recorded the remainder of the incident with his cellphone, Rundle said.

Watch the video below, courtesy of NBC 6 in Miami.

In the video, which lasted two minutes and 17 seconds, Fucheck is seen “carrying and menacingly brandishing a firearm” at Wynn, the state attorney said.

Fucheck expresses doubt that the home where he left the card is Wynn’s property.

“If it was your property, why didn’t you walk over there?” Fucheck angrily asks in the video, which was obtained by NBC News. “Cause you’re a lying mother(expletive), that’s why.”

Wynn calmly questions why Fucheck has a gun and why he is using profanity.

Fucheck, who appears to be slurring his words, says, “Damn right I carry a mother(expletive) gun.” He claims to be a 35-year U.S. Navy Seal veteran and former “head of the SWAT team in Hillsborough County.”

WPLG in Pembroke Park reported that Fucheck was never in the military and never served on the Hillsborough County SWAT team. It was unclear if he every served in law enforcement, but Rundle’s office described him as a convicted felon.

Miami-Dade court records show multiple arrests and convictions dating back to 1996 for crimes ranging from criminal mischief to grand theft. Fucheck was charged in March with petit theft, the records show.

That case is still pending.

In the video, Fucheck tells Wynn to look at the Purple Heart on his license plate and to “run (his) tag” to see who he is. Wynn assures him that he and witnesses have the tag number.

As Fucheck climbs back in his Jeep, he continues to hurl expletives and insults at Wynn, including the N-word.

“No wonder why you have people like you getting shot, ‘cause you act stupid,” Fucheck shouts.  

“Oh, that’s why we get shot?” Wynn responds. “So now it’s racial, too?”

Fucheck shouts the N-word as he drives off.

“Thank you, we heard the (N-word),” Wynn calls back.

Fucheck’s aggravated assault charge is being prosecuted as a hate crime.

“After speaking with all the involved witnesses and reviewing the evidence, we are alleging that, but for the fact that Mr. Wynn is a Black male, the entire incident would not have occurred,” Rundle said in her statement. “Fucheck’s arrest came as a result of the cooperation and proactive investigation by Miami Dade Police Department Northside District General Investigations Unit and the State Attorney’s Gun Violence and Hate Crimes Units.”

Miami-Dade police Director Alfredo Ramirez tweeted that he is proud of his detectives’ work and the collaboration with Rundle’s office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“There’s no place for hate in #OurCounty,” Ramirez tweeted.