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Man Charged With Hate Crime Attack On Lyft Driver

The incident, which was investigated by the Houston Police Department, occurred in the early morning hours of July 21, 2017.

A Houston man is accused of a hate crime for attacking a Lyft driver over his Middle Eastern heritage, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Matthew W. Dunn, 39, is charged with an assault that caused bodily injury, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

He faces enhanced punishment for selecting a victim based on prejudice against a group identified by race, religion or national origin, under Texas law.

“We came through Harvey because of the cooperation of our diverse communities and their willingness to help each other without regard to race, creed or color,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “A hate crime unleashes fear in an entire community.”

Dunn, who was a Lyft passenger, is accused of berating the driver over his background and religion, then grabbing the driver by the hair, punching him and choking him, while the victim was behind the wheel on the Northwest Freeway, according to court papers.

Dunn faces a minimum of 180 days in jail if convicted of Class A assault and a hate-crimes enhancement that were filed this week.

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