A Texas man now faces federal hate crime charges for allegedly sucker-punching an elderly African American man in a so-called "knockout game" style assault.
Twenty-seven-year-old Conrad Barrett is expected in court Friday. He faces charges relating to an assault on this man, a 79-year-old who has asked not to be identified for fear of his safety. (Via KTRK)
Houston-area police say Barrett made a cellphone video where he said his plan was to see if he "hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?" (Via CNN)
According to the Justice Department, Barrett's attack left his victim with a broken jaw and injuries requiring four days in the hospital.
Authorities allege there is another video of him sucker-punching the elderly man. Barrett reportedly showed that video to an off duty investigator, asking the investigator at the time if he knew about the knockout game — telling him he played it earlier that day.
The knockout game is where someone unsuspectingly punches someone — usually from the side or behind — and tries to knockout them out with one punch. Media reports say it has gained increased popularity in 2013, though that's been disputed. (Via HLN)
But there's a wider discussion about race within this story.
Conservative outlets like The Blaze and The Washington Times are claiming many alleged knockout game victims have been white — their attackers black — with apparently no hate crimes charges.
But last month a man in New York was charged with a hate crime for targeting a Jewish man. And in this case — the victim's attorney claims Barrett used race as his criteria for picking out who he was going to attack.
But Barrett's lawyer claims he suffers from severe mental illness, including bipolar disorder, and is heavily medicated. (Via KRIV)
The elderly man is expected to make a full recovery. If Barrett is convicted of a federal hate crime, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.