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'Knockout game' attack leads to hate crime charge

By Michael Graczyk

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:05 a.m. HST, Dec 27, 2013

HOUSTON » A white Houston-area man was arrested Thursday on federal hate crimes charges for allegedly shooting video of himself sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man in a "knockout game"-style attack.

Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, made a brief appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy, who scheduled a detention hearing for the Katy man today.

According to prosecutors, the attack happened Nov. 24 in Katy, but it wasn't until 12 days later that authorities connected the attack to the cellphone video of it.

Authorities learned of the case because Barrett allegedly showed the video on the night of the attack to an off-duty arson investigator he had just met at a restaurant in nearby Folshear. According to the criminal complaint, Barrett asked the off-duty investigator and the woman with the investigator if they knew about the knockout game. He told them he played earlier that day, then showed them the video, prosecutors allege.

The investigator then flagged down a uniformed officer across the street and led him to Barrett.

The attack video doesn't show Barrett's face, but investigators matched his voice to the voice in the video and the couple at the restaurant told investigators that Barrett was wearing the same shorts and shoes at the person who shot the video.

According to prosecutors, the video shows Barrett approach the victim and ask, "How's it going, man?" A "loud smack" is then heard, the victim falls to the ground, Barrett laughs and says, "Knockout." The assailant then flees in his vehicle.

The victim lost three teeth and needed surgery to repair his jaw, which had been broken in two places. He was hospitalized for more than four days, authorities said.

Investigators retrieved other videos from Barrett's phone, including some in which he uses racial epithets and talks about trying to work up the courage to play the knockout game, the complaint states. In one, Barrett says: "That plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?"

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said Thursday that such crimes won't be tolerated.

"Evidence of hate crimes will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted with the assistance of all our partners to the fullest extent of the law," Magidson said.

Barrett's attorney, George Parnham, said Barrett has bipolar disorder and has been prescribed heavy medications to treat it. He said Barrett's family "feels horribly sympathetic" for the person who was attacked.

"When you start peeling back the layers of the onion and look at the mindset behind the action you soon realize there's a mental issue," said Parnham, who added that he's trying to gather as much information about Barrett's mental health as possible.

If convicted of the hate crime charge, Barrett could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $250,000.

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krusha wrote:
Looks like this dude got what he wished if he wanted to be notorious. Stupid criminals usually weed themselves out eventually, so it's good to get scum like this guy off the streets.
on December 27,2013 | 05:36AM
puamamane wrote:
On the news I've seen several videos of black men playing this game, sucker punching and knocking out white men and white women but I haven't read about any of them getting arrested
on December 27,2013 | 06:12AM
HanabataDays wrote:
That's because it's a black-people conspiracy, of course. Now go put on your pillowcase.
on December 27,2013 | 06:17AM
eoe wrote:
Oh noes, the white race is being persecuted! Not.
on December 27,2013 | 06:28AM
mrluke wrote:
Not as long as Eric Holder is Attorney General.
on December 27,2013 | 07:28AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Stop watching FOX news puamamane. They represent GOP, which hate Obama, who is black and Trevon Martin. Barrett doesn't have the Balzs to punch a black man his age, in fact during investigation he targeted an old black retired veteran. This is a hate crime.
on December 27,2013 | 11:54AM
HanabataDays wrote:
Look, you can see where he had his left eyebrow piercing until it wasn't hip any more. Maybe the Dept of Corrections will replace it with a brass nose ring.
on December 27,2013 | 06:16AM
808warriorfan wrote:
Hope The State of TX gives this guy "The Needle".....
on December 27,2013 | 06:41AM
OldEnoughToRemember wrote:
Don't worry, he will get "death by Bunga Bunga!"
on December 27,2013 | 08:58AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Doubt that he would try and sucker punch an NFL black man.
on December 27,2013 | 11:48AM
ryan02 wrote:
This isn't just a matter of stupidity. Anyone who would assault a 79-year old for no reason is totally devoid of conscience or normal human feelings. With over 7 billion people already on earth, it's shame that nature (or God, or who/whatever you believe in) would waste oxygen by putting someone like this on the planet.
on December 27,2013 | 06:45AM
wsato wrote:
Why do you confine it to 79 year-olds? Any idiot who false-cracks someone for fun deserves to be put away for a long time
on December 27,2013 | 07:52AM
Charliegrunt wrote:
What makes these punks think that knocking out an elderly person makes them tough? If they want to be tough, join a boxing club, put on a pair of gloves, and take on someone their own age and size. That's what we did in our day. With so many in the younger generation these days picking on the elderly, it would be a good idea to make gun possession and permits to carry easier and more friendly for the elderly. That should even things up a little.
on December 27,2013 | 07:57AM
paniolo wrote:
Let's see who he can "Knockout" in prison.
on December 27,2013 | 07:11AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
paniolo, they play "Knockout" in prison. This guy's a mark for black prisoners
on December 27,2013 | 07:46AM
BigOpu wrote:
Really really hope some huge black dude plays the knockout game on him while he waits for trial in jail. Then when he heals slightly, it's done again.
on December 27,2013 | 07:14AM
808Cindy wrote:
Conrad Barrett deserves a long ... very long time spent in JAIL !!! 10 years is too short a time for someone like him. A life sentence fits this crime !!!!!!
on December 27,2013 | 07:14AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
He needed to work up the courage to punch a 79-year old man in the face? This guy's winning at life.
on December 27,2013 | 07:34AM
nitpikker wrote:
also hit him with a lawsuit and make him pay with his wallet.
on December 27,2013 | 07:58AM
kapoleitalkstory wrote:
Parhham is saying that his client is not guilty because he is mentally ill - well Barrett's family knew of his illness so they should be held liable for his actions for not keeping him under control!
on December 27,2013 | 08:31AM
TigerEye wrote:
27 years old. He's 27 years old; not a teenager. Will you assume responsibility for your son or daughter that far into adulthood because you "should have known" this or that?
on December 28,2013 | 07:53AM
bluespop wrote:
Put him in a Texas prison's general population. Justice.
on December 27,2013 | 09:16AM
Solara wrote:
From what I've read, the Knockout game was started by young black men. They go out trolling for non-blacks (mostly whites) regardless of age or gender. Many of them go out and play in groups, not solo. Most of these crimes are not investigated, much less reported. It seems the media doesn't want to be accused of racism or whatever it is. Non of this makes much sense.
on December 27,2013 | 09:17AM
eoe wrote:
"From what I've read."
on December 27,2013 | 11:33AM
scooters wrote:
Every law enforcement agency is involved in this case. Why? Because it's white on black. Why not the same interest when it's black on white? Either way, this kind of stupid crime is wrong. Okay, Holder where are Khoi on this?
on December 27,2013 | 09:28AM
mauiray wrote:
he'll be 79 one day if he makes it that far with his attitude, what goes around comes around...
on December 27,2013 | 09:41AM
Denominator wrote:
What courage. Punishment should be a baseball bat to his arms and legs. Then electric shock to what's left.
on December 27,2013 | 10:35AM
iwanaknow wrote:
"My son is a good boy, he just forgot to take his med's".
on December 27,2013 | 11:15AM
Anonymous wrote:
Let him knock himself out in prison. Lock him up.
on December 28,2013 | 04:53AM
Tarball wrote:
What about the Black on White "knockouts"? As many as four Whites have been killed by Black youths playing this cowardly game. . . . . no news about these incidents! It's just another example of the controlled, biased, slanted news media. But, Black or White . . . . . to the gallows!
on December 28,2013 | 08:07AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
If there was "no news about these incidents", how do you know about it? And it took about 10 seconds to find evidence that it's not just "white on black" who are persecuted and convicted: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/man-convicted-of-second-degree-murder-in-st-louis-knockout/article_ac161e98-fe8c-5ee2-92d5-59f29d4288bf.html

Expanding your sources of news might help.

on December 28,2013 | 08:36AM
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