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DOJ: Quincy man pleads guilty to hate crime after running over victim with car in angry tirade

QUINCY, Mass. — A Quincy man pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to committing a hate crime after running over a Vietnamese man with his car in 2022.

78-year-old John Sullivan pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He was indicted by a grand jury in February 2023.

“The actions of John Sullivan are appalling and a sad reflection of intolerance and hate that is far too prevalent in our society. Sullivan violently assaulted an individual in front of children because of his race and national origin,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy.

On December 2, 2022, Sullivan yelled at a Vietnamese family he had never met outside of a post office in Quincy Center. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Sullivan told the family, which included three children under the age of 12, to “go back to China” before threatening to kill them.

He then drove his car into one of the family members, striking him so that he flew over the hood of the car. Sullivan eventually stopped the car and struck the victim a second time, causing the victim to fall into a 15-foot-deep construction ditch.

“This defendant’s hate-filled attack not only seriously injured the victim, but also traumatized three children in his family, solely because they were Asian American,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “No person in this country should have to fear for their own or their family’s safety because of who they are or where they are from.”

Sullivan will be sentenced on June 26.

The hate crime charge provides for a maximum sentence of 10 years, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

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