Katy man charged with hate crime for attack

Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, is accused of attacking an elderly African-American man
December 27, 2013 7:28:30 AM PST
A Katy man has been charged with a federal hate crime for allegedly assaulting a 79-year-old African-American man in a knockout game-style attack, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, was arrested Thursday and appeared in federal court. According to investigators, Barrett attacked the victim because of his race. He reportedly recorded himself on his cell phone attacking the man and showed the video to others.

The U.S. attorney handling the case says video of the attack shows just how brutal it was.

The 79-year-old victim's attorney, O'Neil Williams, has asked us not to identify him, as he fears still for his safety.

"He's frail. There would be no mistaking that you were about to attack an old man," Williams said.

The victim had two fractures to his jaw and spent more than four days in the hospital. He's still recovering from the vicious, unprovoked attack on November 24 while he was walking near his Katy home.

"This suspect used race as a criteria for picking out who he was going to attack," Williams said.

Barrett was arrested Thursday morning.

"Bout time! That's good they got him. They should've been gotten him the first day," the victim's niece, Rosezetta Heard, said.

Investigators say they only found out about the case because Barrett was showing off the video at a bar in Fulshear the night of the attack. He allegedly showed it to an off-duty police officer he'd just met.

On his phone, authorities found not only the video of the attack but 10 others, including one where Barrett allegedly says, "The plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?"

He also makes derogatory statements toward African Americans, including one video in which he says that they "haven't fully experienced the blessing of evolution."

In his defense, Barrett's attorney, George Parnham, says his client has severe mental health issues, that he's bi-polar and on heavy medication.

"There's no question that that entered into these particular type of actions. That's not an excuse, that's just real," Parnham said.

We should note that family and friends say the victim is making a full but slow recovery.

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