WASHINGTON, DC (FOX19) - A Huber Heights man was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in prison for beating a man he believed to be Jewish outside a Cincinnati restaurant, according to the Department of Justice.
The assault occurred on Feb. 4, 2017, when Izmir Koch, 34, yelled out asking if anyone outside the restaurant was Jewish.
The victim said that he was Jewish and Koch punched the victim in the head.
The victim fell to the ground and Koch and a half-dozen of his friends continued hitting and kicking him, breaking a bone in his face and bruising his ribs.
Before and during the assault, authorities say Koch was heard shouting “I want to kill all of the Jews” and “I want to stab the Jews.”
The victim in fact was not Jewish, but was with friends and family members who were.
After the incident, Koch, accompanied by his attorney, spoke voluntarily with the FBI.
Authorities say Koch falsely told the FBI that he was not involved in the assault and that he made no derogatory comments about Jews.
“Hate-fueled violent crimes ripple through communities, making entire groups feel unsafe and unwelcome, spawning fear and anger,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman said. “That is why investigating and prosecuting hate crimes is such a high priority. Every community - every person- is entitled to the equal protection of the laws.”
Koch was convicted in December 2018 of one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act and one count of making false statements to the FBI.