HOUSTON - Cellphone video of a man attacking an elderly man two years ago, as part of the "knockout game," shows the attacker narrating his crime and repeatedly laughing.
Conrad Alvin Barrett, 29, recorded himself on his cellphone attacking 79-year-old Roy Coleman, who is African-American. In the recording, Barrett questions whether there would be national attention if he attacked a person of color.
Barrett also claimed he would not hit "defenseless people" just moments before punching the elderly man in the face and with such force that Coleman fell to the ground.
Barrett then laughed and said "knockout" as he ran to his vehicle and drove away. Coleman suffered two jaw fractures and was hospitalized for several days as a result of the attack.
Barrett pleaded guilty to a hate crime, saying he attacked Coleman because of his race and color in what Barrett called a "knockout." Barrett is serving a 71 month prison sentence.
"The Department of Justice is happy that we were able to get this guy off the street, because he was out there to hurt people," federal prosecutor Ruben Perez said Friday afternoon.
Perez said he believes the public will find the video shocking.
"I hope the public would realize what this man did. It's the callousness the egregious behavior that he, that this man exhibited against this elderly, defenseless man," Perez said.
The following agencies investigated and prosecuted the case: the FBI, Fulshear and Katy Police Departments, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fort Bend County District Attorney's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Perez and Joe Magliolo prosecuted the case.
"When I first saw the video, I was devastated," said Donna McNeal, Colman's daughter. "It broke my heart to see someone hit my father."
McNeal told KPRC her father was physically hurt in the attack. His jaw was broken and he now has difficulty speaking. But it's his emotional state she worries about most. The incident brought back very painful memories of racism he endures as a child.
"He's 81," McNeal said. "It goes way back emotionally. I think he's broken."
Coleman is no longer able to live on his own. McNeal takes care of him.
She said as angry as she is about the attack, she has chosen to forgive Barrett and her heart goes out to his parents.
She said they saw each other in the courtroom but have never spoken.
"I don't hold any hard feelings for that young man," she said. "My heart goes out to his parents because they are hurting just like we are. They're hurting because they've lost a son and I'm hurting because I've lost half of my dad."
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