A convicted felon and white supremacist who assaulted a black man told bar patrons before the attack that he hated black people, bragged to the bar’s owner about being involved in cross-burnings and flashed his swastika tattoo, according to officials.
The attack occurred on Jan. 12, 2015. Randy Metcalf stomped and kicked the head of the black man who was semi-conscious at a Northside Bar in Dubuque, Iowa, officials said.
Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced 40-year-old Randy Metcalf to 10 years in prison after he was convicted of a racially-motivated hate crime, authorities said.
After getting into an argument over a jukebox with the victim’s female friends, Metcalf directed racial slurs at the victim and his friends, told other patrons that he hated black people, bragged to the bar’s owner about being involved in cross-burnings and flashed his swastika tattoo.
Later that night, after hours of taunting, Metcalf attacked the victim’s female friend. When the victim intervened to protect her, Metcalf’s friends knocked him out. As the victim lay barely conscious on the floor of the bar, Metcalf walked over to him and repeatedly kicked and stomped on his head.
FBI agents said Metcalf had been drinking with his fiancé for several hours before they got into an argument with Lamarr Sandridge and his friends over the jukebox at a bar in Dubuque, according to a news report in Raw Story.
The report stated that witnesses said Metcalf had been showing off a large swastika tattoo on his abdomen, saying, “This is what I’m about.”
He has a second swastika tattoo on his shoulder and another tattoo on his chest that says, “FRYS,” a white supremacist Iowa prison gang.
During the argument over music, Raw Story stated Metcalf used racial slurs toward Sandridge and two white women sitting with him, which FBI agents said then triggered a brawl.
Authorities said Metcalf’s friend, 41-year-old Jeremy M. Sanders, put Sandridge in a headlock, and the man’s son, 21-year Joseph Sanders, repeatedly punched the black man in the face until he fell motionless to the ground.
“This vicious attack threatened the most basic standards of human decency and dignity,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “While no sentence, including this one, can undo the harm inflicted, it does send an unequivocal message that the Justice Department will vigorously prosecute hate crimes.”
“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of all people,” said U.S. Attorney Kevin W. Techau of the Northern District of Iowa. “Hate crimes represent an attack not just on the individual victim but also on the entire community. The federal hate crime of which Randy Metcalf was found guilty is as reprehensible as it was violent. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to vindicate the rights of victims of violent hate crimes.”
In addition to sentencing Metcalf to the statutory maximum 10-year sentence, Chief U.S. District Judge Linda R. Reade also ordered him to pay $1,874 in restitution. Metcalf is being held in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until he can be transported to a federal prison.
Metcalf has a lengthy and violent criminal history, with previous convictions for burglary, domestic abuse and child endangerment.
A city of 60,000 across the Mississippi River from Wisconsin, Dubuque is often praised for its economy and government, but it has a history of troubled race relations prompting federal intervention, according to a report in the Des Moines Register newspaper
In 2013, the newspaper reported that a scathing Department of Housing and Urban Development report alleged that the city’s housing practices intentionally discriminated against African-Americans.
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