Florida men face federal hate crime charges for ax handle attack on Black man

Pair also punched victim and yelled racial slurs, according to indictment

Roy Lashley, 55, and Robert Lashley, 52, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Florida for hate crimes after they were arrested for alleged attacks on Black man. (Citrus County Sheriff's Office)

OCALA, Fla. – Two Florida men have been charged by a federal grand jury with committing a hate crime. According to an indictment, Roy Lashley, 55, and Robert Lashley, 52, repeatedly called the victim racial slurs and struck the man, who was Black, with closed fists and an ax handle.

If convicted the defendants face a maximum term of 10 years in prison, three years of mandatory supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

The Citrus County Sheriff arrested the men after deputies were called to a Family Dollar store, where they found a 24-year-old Black man who had allegedly been attacked by the men.

The grand jury indictment says that the defendants “aided and abetted one another, willfully caused bodily injury to the victim, a Black man, because of his actual and perceived race.”

The Florida Attorney General’s Office publishes an annual report on hate crimes. Check the stats here.

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.