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Massachusetts man charged with hate crime after allegedly hitting man twice with his car, yelling at him to go back to China



BOSTON – A Massachusetts man was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Boston for allegedly committing a hate crime.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Justice, 77-year-old John Sullivan was charged with one count of violating the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

According to the indictment, on Dec. 2, 2022, Sullivan used his vehicle to willfully cause bodily injury to a victim because of that victim’s actual and perceived race and national origin. Sullivan reportedly hit a man with his car twice and yelled at him to go back to China on Washington Street in Quincy near the post office.

According to NBC10 Boston, Desiree Thien, who was with the victim and her three children, stated that her brother received a fractured shoulder, torn ligaments and a concussion after Sullivan accelerated before hitting him.

“He looked at our family, and then he told us to go back to China,” Thien said. “And then he said to us, he’s going into the post office, ‘When I come back out in five minutes, if you’re still here, I’m going to kill all of you.'”

“Hate has no place here in Massachusetts. As this case demonstrates, we will aggressively prosecute hate crimes and other civil-rights offenses committed because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any individual or group. Confronting hate crimes is a priority of my administration. I have established a standalone Criminal Civil Rights Unit and a hotline dedicated to the investigation and potential prosecution of civil rights violations,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “Our thoughts are with the victim and their family at this time. The alleged hate-filled and violent behavior of Mr. Sullivan is reprehensible and we intend to hold him accountable.”

“There is no way to undo the alleged damage that Mr. Sullivan did to this victim with his hateful, repulsive, and violent behavior. No one should ever be targeted or threatened because of their race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or immigration status said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “Hate crimes are not only an attack on the victim, but they also instill fear and threaten and intimidate an entire community which is why the FBI worked so closely with the Quincy Police Department to bring Mr. Sullivan to face justice. We urge members of our community to report incidents like this to us because hate-based violence has no place in our society and will not be tolerated.”

In August 2022, U.S. Attorney Rollins announced the creation of the “End Hate Now” hotline – 1-83-END-H8-NOW (1-833-634-8669) – for reporting hate-based incidents or potential criminal activity. Massachusetts residents and visitors are encouraged to call the hotline to report concerning or troubling incidents of hate, potential hate crimes, or concerns regarding individuals believed to be espousing the hate-filled views or actions we learn of far too often in the wake of mass shootings and/or acts of hate-based violent extremism. Callers are encouraged to leave their contact information but may remain anonymous. At this time, the hotline is available in English, Spanish, Cantonese and French.

The charge provides for a maximum sentence of 10 years, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

U.S. Attorney Rollins; Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; FBI SAC Bonavolonta; Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan; and Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Torey B. Cummings of Rollins’ Civil Rights & Human Trafficking Unit and Tara Allison of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.

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