Man convicted of hate crime after using stun cane to assault neighbor in Draper in 2016
SALT LAKE CITY — An Arizona man was convicted of a federal hate crime Wednesday for a racially motivated assault that occurred in Draper in 2016.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah states 59-year-old Mark Porter, a former Draper resident, was found guilty Wednesday following a three-day trial.
A jury found the man guilty of committing a federal hate crime with a dangerous weapon. Prior to his arrest for this case, Porter was living in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Prosecutors say Porter shouted a racial slur at a 7-year-old boy as the child rode a scooter in an apartment complex’s common area in November 2016.
The man told the child to “get out of here” and then used a stun cane to injure the boy’s father. Authorities previously said the man used a “Zap Cane”, which is advertised as a cane that contains a stun gun capable of delivering “one million volts”.
Porter then used a racial slur to refer to both the victim and his son.
“There is no place in Utah for race-motivated hatred and violence,” said U.S. Attorney John W. Huber. “All families deserve the opportunity to live peaceably in their homes where they may pursue happiness in safe environments. The jury in this case spoke on behalf of our Utah communities and definitively stated that this criminal conduct will not be tolerated.”
Evidence presented during the trial showed Porter had told an employee and maintenance staff at his complex that he didn’t want to live near any African-Americans.
Prosecutors say that immediately before the incident, Porter told a neighbor “that he thought that African-Americans needed to be ‘exterminated.'”
“Porter’s violent conduct, motivated by his intolerance of another race, is an egregious crime that will not be tolerated by this Justice Department,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “We will continue to protect the civil rights of all individuals and vigorously prosecute hate crime cases.”
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for May 30. Porter faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.