Colton Donner, 27, pled guilty to one count of Interference with Housing last week, Thursday, Feb. 10, according to court documents obtained by McClatchy News. The Kansas man was accused of threatening a Black man with a knife and hurling racial slurs for walking in a predominantly white neighborhood.He faces up to a decade in prison, federal prosecutors say.
In a news release, the Dept. of Justice alleges Donner accosted the man in 2019 to “intimidate and interfere with the man’s right to fair housing” because of his race. The Kansas City Star notes that the town where the incident happens is home to just over 5,700 residents, according to the latest available census data, and sits southwest of Kansas City.
On Sept. 11, 2019, Donner was driving through a residential neighborhood when he spotted the unidentified Black man walking along the street, prosecutors said. It was then when he stopped his car and approached the man while carrying a knife, eventually then threatening the victim, “yelling racial slurs, and telling the victim that Paola is a ‘white town.’” A public defender assigned to Donner didn’t immediately return a request for comment from McClatchy News on Friday, Feb. 11.
“Every individual has the right to occupy a home free from racial discrimination, yet the defendant targeted the victim for no other reason than the victim’s race,” Special Agent in Charge Charles Dayoub of the FBI Kansas City Field Office said in a statement. “The defendant’s actions directly undermined the victim’s right to reside in a community in Paola, Kansas, and to enjoy the protections afforded under the federal civil rights act,” Dayoub said.