AFRICANGLOBE – A 27-year-old Texas man was arrested by federal authorities on Thursday for allegedly filming himself punching a 79-year-old African-American man and breaking his jaw. Authorities say the assailant was attempting to see whether a “knockout game” attack on a Black victim would be nationally televised.
Conrad Alvin Barrett was arrested and accused of punching the unnamed victim last month and filming the assault. Barrett allegedly showed the video to a man outside a restaurant who he didn’t realize was an off-duty investigator. In the video, the attacker approaches the elderly Black American man, asks him “How’s it going, man?” and proceeds to punch him before laughing, saying “knockout” and fleeing in a vehicle. Barett has been charged with a hate crime.
According to the federal complaint, in another video found on his cell phone, Barrett allegedly says that Black Americans “haven’t fully experienced the blessing of evolution” and uses the n-word. The complaint alleges Barrett said he had been trying to get up the “courage” to play the knockout game for a week.
The “knockout game,” in which an assailant allegedly attempts to knock out a victim with one punch, has received a lot of press recently, though similar attacks have dated back as far as 1992, according to the complaint.
“Hate crimes tear at the fabric of entire communities,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “As always, the Civil Rights Division will work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to ensure that hate crimes are identified and prosecuted, and that justice is done.”
Barrett’s attorney, George Parnham, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, Parnham told reporters that his client, who is currently in jail, has bipolar disorder and takes medication.
Barrett will appear in court on Friday. He faces a maximum of 10 years and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
By: Ryan J. Reilly