A state judge in Maine has ordered two white men to pay $1.25 million in damages for a racially motivated attack against a Black man.
The judge entered a default judgment against Maurice Diggins and Dusty Leo of Biddeford, both of whom are in federal custody and were not represented in the proceeding by attorneys.
On November 9 it was ordered that they pay $750,000 in punitive damages and $500,000 in compensatory damages, the Associated Press reports.
According to the AP, the victim, Daimon McCollum, may never collect the damages, but the award “demonstrates that this kind of conduct is abhorrent and won’t be tolerated,” his attorney, Allyson Knowles, said.
McCollum was attacked in April 2018 in Biddeford by the men, who taunted and shouted racial slurs from their vehicle before a confrontation in which McCollum was struck in the jaw.
The assault occurred after McCollum’s family celebrated a college scholarship for one of their children. McCollum was accosted by Diggins and his nephew when he went to a convenience store for a snack. Diggins reportedly circled McCollum, hurling racial taunts and preventing him from entering the store, while Leo approached and punched him in the jaw. After the assault, the men followed McCollum to his home.
McCollum and his family said they had moved from the Bronx, New York to Maine, partly because of the lower crime rate. However, following the attack, McCollum has moved away from the Biddeford area.
Diggins is serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted of two counts of committing a hate crime and one count of conspiracy. Leo pleaded guilty, received a three-year sentence, and is expected to be released from federal custody next week.