An Iowa City, Iowa, man who reportedly wore a surgical mask so as not to catch black people’s germs has been charged with a hate crime for fighting a man because he is black.
According to CBS 2, police responded Sunday to a call about two men fighting. When they arrived, the victim told police that the man identified as Andy Benavidez, 47, referred to him using racial slurs and hit him. Police documents viewed by the news station note that Benavidez mentioned that he wears a surgical mask because he is “allergic to black people” and doesn’t want to catch their germs.
Benavidez also reportedly admitted to fighting the victim because he’s black.
CBS 2 notes that Benavidez has been charged with assault—violation of individual rights, which is considered a hate crime.
Read more at CBS 2.