Texas Man, 27, Charged With Federal Hate Crime For "Knockout Game" Attack On 79-Year-Old Victim

The Texas man charged with a federal hate crime for an alleged “knockout game” attack on a 79-year-old black victim was identified by police after he showed video of the assault to a stranger in a restaurant--a man who turned out to be an off-duty arson investigator who immediately flagged down a cop to report the brutal crime.

A federal criminal complaint accuses Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, of punching the elderly man in the head on November 24 (the blow left the victim with two jaw fractures and cost him three teeth). The man underwent surgery “to insert two metal plates in his jaw,” and spent several days in the hospital, according to an affidavit sworn by FBI Agent Alfred Tribble.

Barrett, whose rap sheet includes prior convictions for burglary and drunk driving, is pictured in the adjacent mug shot.

Barrett’s phone, which was seized by police after the tip from the arson investigator, contained several incriminating videos, including a clip showing him approaching an “elderly African American man” and asking, “How’s it going, man?” As he gets closer to the victim, “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.”

Other videos on Barrett’s phone appear to show him plotting a “knockout” attack. “The plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?” he comments in one clip. “In other videos, Barrett uses the word ‘nigger’ and states that African Americans ‘haven’t fully experienced the blessings of evolution,’” according to Agent Tribble.

Another video shows Barrett driving around a mall parking lot, saying that he was trying to work up the “courage” to play the “knockout game.” At one point, Barrett remarks that he had “found the perfect African American suspect,” but he then apparently changes his mind about attacking the target.

If convicted of the felony charge, Barrett faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to make an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in Houston.