Man charged with hate crime in ‘knockout’ assault

By Michelle Kapusta,

A Texas man has been charged with a federal hate crime after an alleged “knockout game” assault against an elderly African-American man.

According to CNN, Conrad Barrett has been charged with violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

A federal complaint filed states that the 27-year-old suspect shot a cell phone video of the attack and allegedly talked about hitting a black person to see if it would make national headlines.

The video allegedly shows Barrett walking up to the victim and asking "How's it going, man?" A loud smack can be heard before the victim falls down. The suspect allegedly laughs then says, "Knockout," before fleeing.

The complaint also states that the 79-year-old victim suffered two fractures to his jaw and lost three teeth in the assault.

Last month, the Associated Press reported that authorities arrested Amrit Marajh of Brooklyn and charged him with aggravated harassment as a hate crime because his victim was Jewish.

Whether all the attacks that have been going on in recent months are racially motivated or not is unclear, but the knock-an-unsuspecting-victim-out-with-one-punch game is not a new problem.

In fact, reports of similar incidents date back as far as 1992. However, it has become a national problem. As long as it continues, authorities vow to track down the perpetrators and try to determine the exact motivation for these random acts of violence.


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