HOUSTON – A Houston man was charged Wednesday with a hate crime after he used a racial slur before he tried to stab an African-American man Tuesday, prosecutors said.
Harris County prosecutors said James Scott Lee, 32, chose his victim based on the victim's race.
Prosecutors said Lee was heard saying, “I hate (N-word)s, and I’m going to kill me one today,” before he brandished the knife. They said the victim was able to escape Lee by jumping into a car and locking the door.
Lee was also in possession of brass knuckles at the time of his arrest, prosecutors said.
According to prosecutors, Lee is either mentally ill or has a deep-seated animosity toward African-Americans.
"It's shocking even though things are happening like that lately it still shocks that people would want to do this," resident Steven Maiden said.
Lee was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A hate crime enhancement was added to the charge.
Lee was being held in jail on a $250,000 bond.
Prosecutors said Lee could be sentenced to between five years and life in prison if convicted. Without the enhanced charge, he would face between two and 20 years in prison, they said.