Man who attacked and blamed Cincinnati student for 'kung flu' gets time served


A man who attacked an Asian American student near the University of Cincinnati (UC) in 2021 is now free after being sentenced to time served this week.

Key points:

  • Darrin Johnson, 27, yelled racial slurs and punched the student inside the UC campus on Aug. 17, 2021.

  • Johnson pleaded guilty to a hate crime charge and received time served as part of his plea deal.

  • He apologized for the attack and will undergo diversity training.

The details:

  • Johnson spent 18 months in jail and was released on Thursday.

  • "You brought the kung flu here… You’re going to die for bringing it," he told the unnamed victim before physically assaulting him in the 200 block of Calhoun Street.

  • The victim suffered a concussion and psychological trauma from the unprovoked attack. He still suffers from anxiety and remains under psychological counseling.

  • Despite his experience, the victim reportedly showed compassion for Johnson and is now advocating for mental health resources. “If he had received mental health treatment earlier, this may have never happened," the victim told the court on Thursday.

  • Johnson's lawyer said he was homeless and living under a bridge at the time of the attack.

  • Johnson apologized for his actions. "I had caught COVID. It wasn't right for me to do that to him. I'm sorry," he said in court.

What's next:

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  • As part of the plea deal, Johnson will undergo three years of probation and take a diversity and inclusion class.


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