TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Two white men in Toledo, Ohio, have been charged with a federal hate crime in the beating of a black man.
Authorities say the men drove past the black man who was unloading his truck outside his home on May 18; then circled back, got out of their truck, and attacked him while yelling racial slurs. They say Charles Butler grabbed a broom from the man’s truck and hit him with it multiple times.
Federal authorities say two off-duty police officers and two other people broke up the attack. Federal and local authorities say the attack was motivated by race and that Butler made Facebook posts about it, saying it was “in the name of the White Race.”
The federal charges were announced Friday. Butler, 33, and Robert Paschalis, 25, both of Toledo, were being held Saturday in Lucas County’s jail. No attorney information was listed in jail records.
The man attacked, Adrian Williams of north Toledo, told WTOL-TV he was shocked.
“I’ve never seen these guys in my life,” he said, saying the unprovoked assault came “in broad daylight.” He said he “blacked out on my feet pretty much” as he was being hit.
Williams called racial violence “terrible” and unexpected in 2016 Toledo.
“I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams that something like that would happen,” Williams said.
“These defendants launched an unprovoked attack on an African-American man based solely on his race,” U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon said in a statement. “There is no place for racial violence in our society and these two men will be held accountable.”