Conrad Barrett wanted to get national exposure for taking part in the "knockout game," say prosecutors. The 27-year-old from Katy, Texas, succeeded in that much at least, as authorities have charged him with a federal hate crime, reports KHOU. Barrett, who is white, punched a 79-year-old black man in the jaw so hard that the man suffered two fractures and spent several days in the hospital, alleges the Justice Department. Prosecutors say Barrett recorded the assault on video, and the footage shows him laughing after the punch, saying "knockout," and running to his car, reports the LA Times.
"The plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?” Barrett reportedly says on an earlier video. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted, notes the Smoking Gun. The knockout game generally involves teens punching innocent passersby, but there's much dispute over how widespread the assaults actually are. Some critics say the "trend" is more myth than reality—and,a convenient way to demonize black teenagers. The Texas case suggests the publicity is at least spawning copycat incidents.