On Thursday, a Texas man was charged with a federal hate crime by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Authorities say Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, of Katy, Texas, was charged with assaulting a 79-year-old black man in a Nov. 24 "knockout-game attack," reports Houston news organization KHOU.
“Suspected crimes of this nature will simply not be tolerated,” said United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. “Evidence of hate crimes will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted with the assistance of all our partners to the fullest extent of the law.”
In the complaint, Barrett is charged with one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The complaint details that Barrett attacked the the elderly man due to his race.
CBS News reports that authorities first became aware of the case when Barrett reportedly showed a video he filmed on the night of the attack to an off-duty arson investigator that he met at the restaurant close to where the attack occurred. The complaint says that Barrett asked the investigator and a woman with the investigator if they knew anything about the knockout game. He then informed them that he had played it earlier in the day and showed them the video clip.
That is when the investigator alerted a uniformed officer across the street from the restaurant about Barrett.
The video doesn't show Barrett's face. Instead, investigators verified his identity in the clip by matching his voice to the voice on the video. According to the complaint, the video shows Barrett punch the man in the face with enough force to knock him to the ground. He then laughed and said "knockout" before running to his vehicle.
The victim sustained two jaw fractures and lost three teeth. He was hospitalized for over four days. If Barrett is convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.
Treye Green is a reporter for The International Business Times and a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Green has shot, edited and...