FBI offers $5,000 reward in search for man convicted of hate crime

FBI offers $5,000 reward in search for man convicted of hate crime
Izmir Ali Koch is wanted by the FBI. He was convicted 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. Koch is now indicted with failure to self-surrender at a prison in West Virginia. (Source: Daoud, Natalya)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The FBI issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for a man who was sentenced to 30 months in prison after beating someone whom he believed was Jewish.

Izmir Ali Koch, 34, was sentenced July 9 for a hate crime he was convicted of in December 2017.

The FBI says Koch was sentenced on 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.

Previous Story | Man convicted of hate crime in beating outside of restaurant

The Department of Justice says Koch yelled outside of a restaurant asking if anyone was Jewish.

One victim said he was even though he is not, but was with others who were. Koch punched him in the head and the victim then fell.

Koch and his friends continued to beat the victim, breaking a bone in his face and bruising his ribs.

After the incident, Koch and his attorney voluntarily talked to 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.”

The FBI says Koch was ordered by the court to self-surrender at a prison in West Virginia Aug. 16, but failed to do so.

He is indicted by the United States District Court Southern District of Ohio in Cincinnati for failure to self-surrender, officials say.

The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading directly to the arrest.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Koch is asked to call the FBI Cincinnati Field Office at 513-421-4310.

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