Texas Case Could Produce One Of The First Corona Hate Crime Charges

Jose L. Gomez, 19, was charged with three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. (Midland County Sheriff's Office)

Jose L. Gomez, 19, may have the dubious distinction of being the first person charged and convicted of a Corona hate crime. Gomez is accused of stabbing three members of a family of four inside a Sam’s Club. The family is Asian and police say that he was trying to stop them from spreading the virus. His victims included a 2-year-old and 6-year-old child. While other anti-Asian hate crimes have been reported in the pandemic, this one could result in an early plea or conviction.

The FBI report states “The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with coronavirus.” The report itself confirms that federal prosecutors are considered federal hate crime charges. He is currently charged with three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

There is a hero in this story. A store employee, Zack Owen, intervened, tackled Gomez and brought him to the ground. Owen was stabbed in the leg and cut on the hand as a result of his brave action. Off-duty Border Patrol Agent, Bernie Ramirez was fortunately also present and rushed forward to place Gomez into custody. He also credited Owen for his bravery.

Most criminal defense lawyers would be asking for an immediate psychiatric evaluation and ultimately some form of plea bargain. This is not a case that you want to ever see the inside of a jury trial.

224 thoughts on “Texas Case Could Produce One Of The First Corona Hate Crime Charges”

  1. I have noticed that criticism of Israel, meaning the Israeli government, gets you called an anti-Semite and responsible for synagogue massacres and so forth. Such charges usually comes from the right.

    Frank discussion about China, meaning the Chinese government, gets you called a xenophobe responsible for incidents like the one mentioned here. It usually comes from the left.

    Charges of bigotry are best used when warranted. Frank discussions of Israel have been going on for a while. Frank discussions of China are long overdue.

    1. I have noticed that criticism of Israel, meaning the Israeli government, gets you called an anti-Semite and responsible for synagogue massacres and so forth. Such charges usually comes from the right.

      No, it doesn’t. Pretending Israel is behaving badly when it takes common-and-garden action against people who attack It’s people gets you labeled an anti-semite, because the implications of such complaints are that the Jews have an obligation to lay down and die.

      You don’t want to get shot to death while mobbing the border, don’t mob the border. You don’t want civilians killed in air raids, keep your bloody artillery pieces away from hospitals and residences. You don’t want air raids, quit lobbing artillery shells at Jewish towns. You upset with the poverty in your midst, quit diverting foreign donations to the project of building infiltration tunnels and purchasing artillery pieces. You don’t want to spend 20 years in prison, don’t go on rampages stabbing random people you meet.

      For more than 50 years, the Jordanian state has managed to keep the peace with Israel. It didn’t require much ingenuity.


      Given all the trouble in the world, someone who takes a peculiar interest in Israel is suspect. We all have our niche interests, but when masses of people have the same niche interest, the rest of us are within the bounds of propriety asking just why this is so engrossing to you all. The miseries of the Arabs on the West Bank and Gaza are not peculiar in their severity; they are peculiar in the degree to which they are self-inflicted.

      1. Posted this below:

        “Rename W.H.O. the Chinese Health Organization”
        Taro Aso — Deputy Prime Minister — Japan

        Absolutely nothing wrong with it.

        What happens if I don’t associate it with the Japanese DPM or Trump says something similar?

  2. Back when George Bush was running against John Kerry a couple of liberal friends of mine told me that they were voting for Kerry because he served in Vietnam. But when John McCane was running against Obama, service in Vietnam didn’t seem to matter. If you don’t like someone or don’t agree with them philosophicly, just say it.

    1. That sort of hooey was promoted for years by Hendrick Hertzberg (currently of The New Yorker), who stuck a stiletto in every Republican of a certain age who hadn’t had military service and granted plenary indulgences to every Democrat. (Hertzberg enlisted in the Navy, was given a desk job in New York City, and was mustered out when it was discovered during some dental work that his blood doesn’t clot well. NB, the premise of the discharge was that selective service should have classified him I-Y rather than I-A. At the time he was discharged, Hertzberg was due to be court-martialed for refusing orders to report to Da Nang for a desk job; from this meh two-year hitch he sat in judgment of everyone else born between 1938 and 1953).

  3. If the state of Texas (or the United States of America, if need be) doesn’t act decisively in this case against the assailant, we can look forward to a summer of lynchings.

  4. China executed the preemptive “first strike” of World War III.

    China, through dictatorship, has survived having brutally forced its population, in Lincolnesque fashion, to react to the “outbreak” and to turn hard toward “first recovery” of its economy and military.

    The only question that remains is whether the West, under one man, one vote democrazy, will recover at all or retaliate.

    1. Haha. Awesome. Relevance? Oh, right, just unhinged, free-flowing magma from the depths of your “mind.”

      this is to “my therapists says to just ‘let it rip’ when the meds take effect” georgie – paulie

  5. Darren Smith,

    These Pingbacks are not accretive to Professor Turley’s Forum.

    They may violate the civility rule as a consequence of their eminent boorishness.

    1. yes it is. This is what Trump said when he said “nothing is inevitable”
      models have to be taken seriously and when they are then it actually can help the situation
      of course now there is a secondary fallout from the emergent virus, which is, the emergent Depression.
      but anyhow:

      “Here’s the tricky part: When an epidemiological model is believed and acted on, it can look like it was false. These models are not snapshots of the future. They always describe a range of possibilities—and those possibilities are highly sensitive to our actions. A few days after the U.K. changed its policies, Neil Ferguson, the scientist who led the Imperial College team, testified before Parliament that he expected deaths in the U.K. to top out at about 20,000. The drastically lower number caused shock waves: One former New York Times reporter described it as “a remarkable turn,” and the British tabloid the Daily Mail ran a story about how the scientist had a “patchy” record in modeling. The conservative site The Federalist even declared, “The Scientist Whose Doomsday Pandemic Model Predicted Armageddon Just Walked Back the Apocalyptic Predictions.”

      But there was no turn, no walking back, not even a revision in the model. If you read the original paper, the model lays out a range of predictions—from tens of thousands to 500,000 dead—which all depend on how people react. That variety of potential outcomes coming from a single epidemiological model may seem extreme and even counterintuitive. But that’s an intrinsic part of how they operate, because epidemics are especially sensitive to initial inputs and timing, and because epidemics grow exponentially.”

      1. YES! any warning of danger, upon which action is taken, serves to reduce the confidence in the basis of the initial warning. Ridiculous, but true.
        Case in Point, Ross Perot’s warning of the great Swooshng sound that will be the jobs being sucked form America.
        Sometimes you only get to guess/choose once.

    2. This is one of the Atlantic’s better articles.

      There was a time when the Atlantic was a really good magazine. Over time, a certain shall we say, point of view, infected their writing and editorial choices to the point where it is now endemic. Everything, literally everything, they write needs to be read through a political filter.

      Even an interesting and thought provoking article on the limits of empidemiological modelling is framed around President Trump’s use of the model. And the example they give? The faulty modeling of Trump’s election chances in 2016.

      So yes, a very interesting article, but one needs to spend as much time thinking about the author’s point of view as its substance.

      1. The author bent over backwards to prop the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team.

        The IC authors paint a virus that will be the ruin of nations. Their goal was stated at the beginning of the paper: aimed at reducing the contact rates…and thereby reducing transmission of the virus They believed what they had read in China, all of which was based on selection bias, and then recklessly chose to magnify it with dire consequences. It would have been more scholarly had they put aside their assumption that China provided reliable information. It has been discussed and published at length that in 2002 China suppressed, distorted and conflated data on SARS-CoV.

        The IC paper also relied on unreliable data. Their R0 (reproduction number) of 2.4 is based on a paper published by researchers in China using patients who had been diagnosed with pneumonia (selection bias). The collection of the data was overseen by the Communist Party of China:

        Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia
        Data collection and analysis of cases and close contacts were determined by the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China


        Equally damaging to the Imperial College paper is that they list no limitations to their analysis. Scholarly research papers always include in their Discussion section an acknowledgement of limitations to the study. No analysis is perfect, so we admit as such to acknowledge possible errors.

        It is fitting that the paper has been discredited though much too late. The Atlantic piece is performing CPR on it.

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