Mass. Man Indicted on Civil Rights Charges After Attack on Immigrant Neighbor

Prosecutors say the suspect approached the victim in a driveway and hit him in the face before following the victim inside and continuing the attack

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NBC Connecticut

A Holbrook, Mass., man was indicted on 11 charges, including mayhem and civil rights violations, after an attack on a neighbor who immigrated to the United States over a decade ago, the Norfolk District Attorney's Office said Thursday.

John F. Houlihan, 56, is accused of attacking that neighbor on May 10, 2022, as the neighbor was sitting in his vehicle making a phone call. The victim tried to escape by running inside, but prosecutors say Houlihan followed, hitting the victim with a bottle, knocking him down and kicking him. Prosecutors allege that during this attack Houlihan said the landlord should get "the (expletive) Russian out of here.

There have been reports of anti-Russian sentiment and discrimination since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion that led to war in Ukraine. It is not clear if this was the motivation for the attack. However, prosecutors noted that in this case, the victim isn't even Russian.

Houlihan was arrested and released after a dangerousness hearing on May 16, on the conditions that he submit to GPS monitoring, stay away from Holbrook and stay alcohol-free.

Houlihan was indicted for mayhem; intimidation due to national origin; civil rights violation; assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (bottle) – two counts; assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot); assault and battery causing serious injury; assault and battery on a person over age 60 – two counts; entering a dwelling without breaking; entering a vehicle without breaking.

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