The man responsible for kicking and stomping on the head of a semi-conscious black man last year during a Dubuque, Iowa, bar fight was found guilty of a federal hate crime.
Randy Joe Metcalf, 40, was found guilty on Wednesday after a jury deliberated for about three hours following a three-day trial in U.S. District Court in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Metcalf was accused of assaulting Lamarr Sandridge during the Jan. 12, 2015, fight at Northside Bar and using racial slurs in the tavern, the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald reported.
Federal prosecutor Christopher Perras told the jury that the fight broke out after Metcalf got into an argument with Sandridge and his companions over jukebox credits. Afterward, Metcalf went outside with bar owner Ted Stacks and asked, using a racial slur, if “he needed anything taken care of,” the newspaper reported.
Metcalf obviously was talking about Sandridge, the prosecutor said, because he was the only black man in the bar. The assailant also displayed a swastika tattoo on his stomach to other bar patrons and bragged about having burned crosses. The jury wasn’t told if the defendant had specific affiliations with white supremacy groups.
“The defendant was proud of his racist ways that night” and targeted the victim because of his race, said Perras, a prosecutor assigned to the Criminal Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Metcalf’s defense attorney told the jury the assault did not start because of race, rather because one of the victim’s female companions knocked a cell phone out of the hand of Metcalf’s fiancee.
Surveillance video showed the victim was punched and knocked out by another man before Metcalf kicked and stomped the victim’s head. The other assailant was not charged with a federal hate crime. After Metcalf was pushed away from the semi-conscious victim, he returned to kick and stomp him again before leaving.
“It was a deliberately targeted assault,” the prosecutor told the jury in closing arguments.
A sentencing date has not been set, but Metcalf, who remains in custody, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.