BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An elderly man was beaten only because of the color of his skin.
Suzanne Collins reports one teenager pleaded guilty to that hate crime Wednesday.
James Privott was kicked, punched and beaten with a wooden stick. The retired state worker was fishing at Fort Amistead Park in 2009 when an avowed white supremacist and two teens attacked him, shouting racial slurs as he tried to get in his truck.
“He was brutally and viciously attacked, solely because of the color of his skin, which the defendants have admitted to, and we will not tolerate that kind of conduct,” said state’s attorney Gregg Bernstein.
Zachary Watson admitted Wednesday he participated in the assault, taking the older man’s wallet and keys. Watson drove the victim’s Tahoe and they bought drugs with his money.
Privott had head injuries. His eye socket was fractured, his teeth were knocked out and his glasses were broken. He could barely see when he got up. He had to hobble for almost a mile to get help.
The other teen, Emmanuel Miller, is on probation now. Miller says the teens were scared of Calvin Lockner, who threatened them.
“The guy started to pack the stuff and Calvin just took off running after the man, beat the guy with the hammer and me and Zachary, we were sitting 20-25 feet away from it,” Miller said. “We didn’t know what to do.”
But Privott says all three beat him.
After pleading guilty, Watson was sentenced to 85 years but most is suspended. He will serve 10 years behind bars. Bernstein had argued for at least 15 years of incarceration.
Lockner is already serving 31 years for the hate crime.
Police tracked down the attackers using the stolen Tahoe’s LoJack system.