Utah man charged with federal hate crime in alleged ‘kill a Mexican’ attack

A Utah man who is accused of shouting "I'm here to kill a Mexican" and then attacking a father and son has been charged with a federal hate crime, BuzzFeed News reported Wednesday. 

A federal grand jury charged Alan Dale Covington, 50, with three counts of committing hate crime charges. Local officials were not able to bring hate crime charges because state law only allows for the charges to be added to misdemeanors. 

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Covington allegedly entered Lopez Tires and hit the owner, his son and a third person in November, according to officials. 

He is accused of shouting "I hate Mexicans" and "I'm here to kill a Mexican" before the alleged attack. He is also accused of asking if shop owner Jose Lopez and his 18-year-old son Luis Gustavo Lopez were "part of the Mexican mafia."

Luis Gustavo Lopez was reportedly knocked unconscious in the assault. 

Covington faced two felony counts of aggravated assault, as well as three weapon and drug charges by local authorities, the Salt Lake Tribune reported in December. 

If convicted of the hate crime charges, Covington would face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.