Buffalo Man Indicted on Hate Crime Charges
According to a report by WKBW-TV, a Buffalo man was charged with two separate felony hate crimes in Erie County Court.
Last summer investigators allege that Thomas Schmieder, Jr. attacked a black man in north Buffalo with a metal pipe while calling him racial slurs, that included the n-word.
During the incident, the 34-year-old Schmieder was in a yelling match with a young woman and allegedly pushing the woman down. When a witness and bystander intervened to assist the woman, Schmieder is accused of pulling a metal pipe out of his bag and then hitting the bystander in the head.
According to the criminal complaint, Schmieder then fled the scene yelling more racial slurs.
The bystander was treated for his injuries at ECMC and subsequently released. Schmieder was arrested by Buffalo Police officers a few days later.
Schmieder was indicted and charged with two felony counts, 2nd-Degree Assault as a Hate Crime and 2nd-Degree Assault. If convicted on both charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison.
The actual indictment was issued earlier this year but COVID-19 delayed the District Attorney's Office and court from having a hearing for Mr. Schmieder sooner. He was supposed to have his court hearing on April 6th, but he skipped out on that hearing. He was re-arrested this week for failing to appear and during that arrest, Buffalo Police officers found him in possession of a small cache of illegal drugs. Those drugs included fentanyl, marijuana mixed with cocaine, and Xanax. He's subsequently been charged with at least 3 counts of 7th-Degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substances.
Mr. Schmieder is due back in Erie County Court on April 30th for a felony hearing.