Two Ohio men — Charles Butler, 33, and Robert Paschalis, 25, both of Toledo, Ohio, were charged Friday with a federal hate crime Friday for beating a black man they saw on the street, according to officials.
The men were charged with beating the victim, identified as A.W., because he is black, federal officials said.
According to the complaint, on May 18, 2016, Butler and Paschalis drove past A.W. on the street while A.W. was unloading items from his truck. The two men circled back, got out of their own truck and began attacking A.W. while yelling racial slurs. Butler grabbed a broom from the back of A.W.’s truck and struck A.W. with it multiple times.
The beating stopped only when two off-duty Ohio State Police officers happened to be on the scene and pulled Butler and Paschalis away. A.W. suffered an orbital fracture and damage to his right eye. Butler later posted to Facebook that the attack was “in the name of the White Race.”
According to the criminal complaint, Butler admits that he is a white supremacist. He has white supremacist tattoos, including the German War Eagle, a portrait of Adolf Hitler, a swastika and confederate flag.
In prison, Butler was caught with notes pertaining to the Aryan Republic Army, which was active in the 1990s in the Midwest. The group committed several bank robberies, officials said. He said he wanted to restart the Aryan Republic Army.
Butler told law enforcement that A.W. called him a “cracker” because of the confederate flag and the “Don’t Tread on Me Sticker,” according to the criminal complaint. He said A.W. hit him first and he was just defending himself.
“Even when confronted with the video surveillance that did not support his statements, Butler did not change or alter his story,” according to the complaint.
Butler said that “the fight was necessary because he was just in ‘one of those moods.'”
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