Charles Butler, 33, and Robert Paschalis, 25, both of Toledo, Ohio, were charged with a federal hate crime today for beating an African-American stranger they saw on the street.
The charges were announced by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta, U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon of the Northern District of Ohio and Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony of the FBI’s Cleveland Division.
The men were charged by complaint with beating the victim, A.W., because he is black. 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 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.”
A complaint is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the FBI Cleveland Division’s Toledo Resident Agency, in cooperation with the Toledo Police Department and Lucas County, Ohio, Prosecutor’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Freeman of the Northern District of Ohio and Trial Attorney Dana Mulhauser of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.