The Texas man who attacked an Asian family at a Sam’s Club because he believed they were responsible for COVID-19, pleaded guilty to hate crime charges.
The Justice Department announced in a press release Wednesday that 21-year-old Jose Gomez III had pleaded guilty to three hate crime charges.
According to plea documents associated with the case, Gomez entered a Sam’s Club in Midland, Texas, behind an Asian family he believed to be Chinese on March 14, 2020. He thought the family came from the country where the disease was spreading.
Gomez left the family to find a serrated steak knife. When he returned, he punched the father and cut his face. He left again and returned with an eight-inch knife, this time stabbing the two children.
The Justice Department condemned the attack in the press release announcing Gomez’s plea.
“An Asian family was shopping when the defendant brutally attacked them because of their race and because he blamed them for the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Racially motivated hate crimes targeting the Asian American community are on the rise and have no place in our society today. All people deserve to feel safe and secure living in their communities, regardless of race, color or national origin.”
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