A Texas man today pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime charge stemming from his “knockout game” attack on an elderly African-American victim.
Conrad Alvin Barrett, 29, copped to the felony count during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Houston. Barrett, who has been locked up since his December 2013 arrest, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine in connection with the assault.
The victim, now 81 and only identified as “RC” in court records, was punched in the head by Barrett, who videotaped the assault with his cell phone. The blow left “RC” with two jaw fractures and three less teeth. The man subsequently required surgery for his injuries, according to an affidavit sworn by FBI Agent Alfred Tribble.
Investigators noted that a video found on Barrett’s phone showed him approaching an “elderly African American man” and asking, “How’s it going, man?” Then, “a loud smack is heard, and the victim falls to the ground,” reported Tribble, who added, “Barrett laughs, says 'knockout,' and then flees in his vehicle.”
On another video, Barrett (pictured above) is seen driving around a mall parking lot and saying that he was trying to get up the “courage” to play the “knockout game.” On one clip, Barrett said, “The plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?”
In arguing to keep Barrett imprisoned before trial, federal prosecutors contended that he was a danger to the community and that, “The evidence clearly shows that he hates non-whites.” Agent Tribble’s affidavit noted that, “In other videos, Barrett uses the word ‘nigger’ and states that African Americans ‘haven’t fully experienced the blessings of evolution.’”
In a bail motion, Barrett’s lawyer, George Parnham, denied that his client was a racist, saying that he had once worked as “team leader of a project benefiting under-privileged children, many of whom were minorities.” Additionally, the attorney reported, Barrett developed a “close friendship” with an African-American woman he met while attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Parnham described Barrett as suffering from “a bipolar disorder type and a poly-substance abuse/dependence.”