WASHINGTON — A 27-year-old Kansas man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday for threatening a Black man with a knife because of the man’s race and in order to intimidate and interfere with the man’s right to fair housing.
According to court documents filed in connection with the plea, on Sept. 11, 2019, Colton Donner was driving through a residential area of Paola, Kansas when he saw the victim walking on the sidewalk.
Donner stopped, got out of the car, and approached the victim while brandishing a knife. He then threatened the victim, yelled racial slurs, and told the victim that Paola is a “white town,” according to court records.
“Using racially motivated threats of violence to drive someone out of their home or community is a deplorable crime, and the Justice Department stands ready to use our nation’s hate crimes laws to hold perpetrators accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Racially motivated hate crimes 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.”
For a separate incident, Donner was indicted for unlawful possession of a firearm while being a convicted felon.
Donner faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the civil rights offense.
The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, have no tolerance for this type of fear and intimidation and are committed to protecting residents regardless of their race, color, religion, gender, national origin or familial status,” said Special Agent in Charge Charles Dayoub of the FBI Kansas City Field Office.