In 2017, a racist man yelled racial slurs at a man who had a Middle Eastern decent in New Castle, Pennsylvania.
Gregory Brzoza first hurled anti-immigrant slurs and then assaulted the man. He then blamed his actions on alcohol and is now under supervised probation.
He should have been in jail.
Brzoza pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation last month and was ordered to pay $1,600 for his injuries. The victim was attacked in August.
According to police, a group of men were ordering from a food cart on Old River Road in Aug. 2017 when Brzoza yelled racial slurs including, "You don't belong. Go back to your own country," at the victim.
He then punched the 22-year-old victim in the face several times, causing the man to hit his head on the cement and lose consciousness, police said. The victim suffered a broken jaw and many of his teeth were knocked out.
Now Brozoa claims he was under the influence of alcohol when he attacked the victim.
"It was reflective of the amount of alcohol I drank," he said.
The unidentified victim couldn’t make it to the court’s recent hearing as he was scheduled to have surgery at MetroHealth to repair his jaw, said Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor James Gallagher.
Gallagher read the victim’s written statement, where he asked the court to give his attacker the maximum sentence for "such a hateful crime."
"No person of color should feel like they don't belong in this country and no person should be assaulted because of it," penned the victim.
Brzoza is not a stranger to criminal activities. In 2012, he was convicted of drunken driving and in 2017, he was convicted of a criminal damaging incident.
He also attacked the Middle Eastern man, yet, ironically, he walked out of court without jail time, despite pleading guilty to the offence.
Now, Judge Maureen Clancy has ordered Brzoza to attend four Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every week and said his use of alcohol and drugs should be monitored. Clancy ruled out the possibility of the racist man serving probation in his hometown of New Castle, Pennsylvania.
The bigot has to report to probation officers in Cuyahoga County every week.
According to the police, the August attack was "unprovoked," but Gallagher said there were "a variety of factors" that played into the incident.
Brzoza, who was in the town with his friends at the night of the attack, said he was eating cheese fries when the victim started talking to a woman in his group. He told the man to go back to his own friends when she became uncomfortable.
The two started arguing, and it was the victim who "started the whole racial profile" by asking Brzoza if he wasn't allowed to talk to the woman because of his skin color, Brzoza claimed. "He was badgering and taunting me and just kind of pulled the words out of my mouth," he said. "I just fed into everything he was saying."
However, this is not what the victim explained.
The victim maintained that Brzoza was the first one to mention his ethnicity, before breaking his jaw and running away.
Whatever the case might be, Brzoza had no right to attack the man with physical violence.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Cleveland Police