A man faces two hate crime-assault charges after he allegedly shouted racial slurs and hit a man with a pipe last month.

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Darrell Lee Abbott, 46, faces assault charges after he allegedly used a pipe to hit a man as he shouted racial expletives toward the victim June 15, 2019. (Photo: Johnson County Sheriff's Office)

A man was charged with two counts of assault, which were enhanced as hate crimes, after police say he was seen on video hitting a black man with a pipe and heard by witnesses shouting racial slurs, last month in Iowa City. 

According to a police report, after about 6:30 p.m the evening of June 15, Darrell Lee Abbott, 46, put himself into the middle of a conversation and told the victim, "I'm a killer," "I'm gonna show you I'm a killer," "I'll kill you (racial expletive)." 

Abbott allegedly left the area, the 1800 block of Boyrum Street, and went home. There, his mother heard him say, "I'm going to kill myself a (racial expletive)," police say. 

Abbott is then seen on surveillance video coming back to the area and confronting the victim as he held a "large metal bar," according to the report. 

Witnesses told police they heard Abbott shouting at the victim, "You (racial expletive), I'm gonna kill you." 

Iowa City Police Sgt. Derek Frank said the victim wasn't transported by ambulance but  was treated at an area hospital after the incident. 

Abbott was transported to the Johnson County Jail Friday morning and is being held on a $23,500 bail.

Online court records show Abbott has a long criminal history and was arrested multiple times over the past year for operating while under the influence. On Friday, he had two arrest warrants: one for failing to appear at a hearing and another for the assault charges. 

Iowa code defines hate crimes as a legal enhancement to other crimes committed which include assault, arson, criminal mischief and trespassing. It doesn't include harassment.

Iowa City recently approved an ordinance which allows the police to charge someone who harasses someone based on someone's race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation, gender identity, among other qualities,

So now, if police believe if a perpetrator harassed someone and or trespassed with intent to harass because of someone's race or religion, the crime can be enhanced to a hate crime. 

The crime would be a simple misdemeanor for which first offenses are punishable by a fine not to exceed $625 and imprisonment not to exceed seven days.

Since 2014, two other people have been charged with assaults enhanced as hate crimes in Iowa City. 

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Reach Hillary Ojeda at 319-339-7345, hojeda@press-citizen.com or follow her on Twitter at @hillarymojeda

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