CINCINNATI — An Ohio man has been charged with a federal hate crime in connection with an alleged assault on an Asian American student at the University of Cincinnati last year.
Darrin Johnson, 26, of Cincinnati was arrested Thursday following his indictment by a federal grand jury, the U.S. attorney’s office in the southern district of Ohio said in a news release.
The victim was preparing to go for a run on a campus street in August 2021 when Johnson began yelling racial comments and threats at him, federal prosecutors said. Referring to COVID-19, he yelled, “Go back to your country. … You brought the kung flu here. … You’re going to die for bringing it,” prosecutors said.
The indictment alleges that Johnson then punched the victim on the side of the head, causing him to fall and hit his head on the bumper of a parked car. The victim had a minor concussion and cuts to his face, prosecutors said.
Arrested in a parking lot near a recreation center, Johnson pleaded guilty in municipal court in October 2021 to misdemeanor assault and criminal intimidation, and was sentenced to nearly a year in a county jail, federal prosecutors said.
An email seeking comment was sent Sunday to the federal public defender representing Johnson on the hate crime charge.