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Ohio Man Convicted of Hate Crime in Attack Outside Cincinnati Restaurant

A 33-year-old Ohio man was convicted Monday of a hate crime for assaulting a man he believed was Jewish in front of a Cincinnati restaurant. Izmir Koch, of Huber Heights, was heard shouting, “I want to kill all of the Jews” and “I want to stab the Jews” before the assault, and faces up to 15 years in prison for the hate crime and lying about it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to court records, on Feb. 4, 2017, Koch was outside a restaurant with a group of people and called out if anyone was Jewish. Before the attack, Koch called out, “I want to kill all of the Jews” and “I want to stab the Jews.” The victim responded that he was Jewish, and Koch ran up to the man and punched him in the face, knocking him down, and then began to kick him. The victim suffered a broken bone in his face and bruised ribs.  

Koch later lied to the FBI about his role in the attack, and claimed that he never said anything derogatory against Jews.

“All people should be able to live their lives freely and without fear of violence or aggressive acts of intimidation,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “The Department of Justice is committed to prosecuting anyone who harms someone because of their actual or perceived religion and lies to law enforcement to cover up the crime.”

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Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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