Dillon Burdick, 29, is accused of attacking a METRO police officer and bus driver along with a detention officer. He was arrested and now faces three felony charges for assault and harassment of a public servant.
All three of the people are of Hispanic descent, prosecutors say.
“You kind of wonder what goes through someone’s mind when they assault someone simply because of their ethnicity,” said Ruben Perez, the Special Crimes Bureau Chief for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The incident happened Wednesday at a bus stop on Veterans Memorial Drive when authorities say Burdick refused to get off of a bus.
According to prosecutors, what followed was a violent confrontation.
“He slapped the bus driver. The bus driver then reports him. The police come then he spits on the police officer. He then spits on the detention officer,” Perez said.
Once arrested, prosecutors said Burdick was asked why he attacked the three public servants.
“He said because I don’t like certain kinds of people and he used a racial slur,” Perez said.
Perez further explained, “As a result, he was charged with a hate crime.”
Prosecutors say the range of punishment for the alleged crime is two to 20 years for each count.
“First of all, we’re going to prosecute you if you commit a crime. And we’re also going to prosecute if you commit a crime with the added element of hate,” said Perez.