Andy Benavidez told Iowa police that he was wearing a surgical mask when he allegedly attacked a Black man on Sunday because he's "allergic to Black people." CBS 2 Iowa reports that Benavidez was using racial slurs during the fight as well:
Police say that Benavidez told them he wore the mask so he wouldn't catch germs from Black people. As a result of the altercation, he has been charged with assault in violation of individual rights, which is categorized as a hate crime under Iowa state code.
The victim has not been publicly named, and it is not clear when Benavidez will next appear in court to face the charges against him.
While Benavidez seems to have been working alone, hate crimes are still something that plague our community, and our country. Check out which 10 states are home to the most hate groups with BET News:
(Photo: Johnson County Sherriff’s Office)