'They will take over the world': Florida brothers assault Black man with axe in case of hate crime
CITRUS SPRINGS, FLORIDA: A Florida man, 55, entered a guilty plea on Monday, October 17, to a federal hate crime he committed in November 2021 against a Black customer outside a Family Dollar store in Citrus Springs. The victim, identified as DB, was beaten and struck with an axe handle by Roy Lamar Lashley and his brother Robert Dewayne Lashley, 52.
Roy Lashley has admitted to breaking the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, specifically 18 USC 249(a), according to the Department of Justice.
“Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person […] shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fined in accordance with this title, or both,” the statute says.
Court documents said on the day of the incident, the defendant allegedly asked his brother whether he spotted "that big Black n*****" at a cash register at the Family Dollar store in Citrus Springs, Florida.
“Surveillance video does not show D.B. push or otherwise contact defendant Roy Lashley as they passed one another. The clerk and store manager admonished co-defendants Robert and Roy Lashley for using racial slurs inside the store,” the factual basis of the plea agreement said.
Roy Lashley acknowledged that he and his brother pursued the victim and attacked him, the former with an axe handle and the latter using his fists.
“Defendant Roy Lashley retrieved an axe handle from the bed of his truck, ran to the scene, and struck D.B. multiple times with it. In response, D.B. raised his arms to block the blows or punched back in self-defense. Co- defendants Robert and Roy Lashley each directed racial slurs towards D.B. before, during, and after the attack,” the factual basis continued.
Roy Lashley acknowledged telling responding deputies once he was in custody, “If we don’t do anything about them, they will take over the world.” The DOJ said he continued to use racial slurs on the scene and even told deputies they were only arresting him because he was White.
Date for sentencing is January 19, 2023.
On October 4, Robert Lashley entered a guilty plea to his part in the hate crime that left the victim with a laceration inside his mouth, injuries to his face and legs, and other wounds.
“The defendant in this case deliberately and brutally attacked the victim because of his race,” Middle District of Florida US Attorney Roger Handberg said in a statement. “There is no place in our country for this type of abhorrent behavior, and we will prosecute those who commit these heinous crimes to the fullest extent of the law.