White Man Charged With Federal Hate Crime For Playing “Knockout Game” and Breaking Jaw of 79-Year-Old Black Man

December 26th, 2013

The Houston Chronicle has the report:

A Katy man who was allegedly playing the “knockout game” has been charged with a federal hate crime in an attack that left an elderly black man hospitalized for days.

Conrad Barrett, 27, is scheduled to appear in court today to face charges that violated the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act when he targeted a black man in an attack on Nov. 24, 2013, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Court documents say Barrett recorded himself on his cell phone making racial slurs and saying he intended perform a “knockout” attack. He allegedly said “the plan was to see if I were to hit a black person, would it be nationally televised.”

He then recorded the attack, which left the 79-year-old victim with his jaw broken in two places.

Federal officials describe the knockout game as “an assault where someone aims to knockout an unsuspecting victim with just one punch.”

“Suspected crimes of this nature will simply not be tolerated,” says Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuals from the Civil Rights Division of the FBI. “Hate crimes tear the fabric of entire communities.”

I should note that a constitutional challenge to the Hate Crimes Act is currently awaiting decision in the 5th Circuit. I blogged about this case earlier.