A Grand Isle man pleaded guilty Wednesday to hate crime charges for assaulting two African-American relief workers in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Josh Jambon, 52, entered a guilty plea in front of U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan to two counts of federal civil rights violation.
He faces a maximum of one year of prison, one year of supervised release and a $100,000 fine on each count.
According to the statement, on Sept. 18, 2012, Jambon became enraged at two black women in a work crew that was clearing debris in Grand Isle related to Hurricane Isaac. He believed a different crew had damaged his property and asked to speak the crew’s supervisor, the statement said.
During that interaction, he directed a slew of racial slurs at the women, who were sitting under a tree. He then punched them both in the face.
A third member of the crew filmed the incident with her cellphone. When Jambon realized she was doing so, he attempted to wrest away her phone, according to the statement.
The three women involved were all black, while the rest of the work crew was white.
“Hate-fueled violence has no place in a civilized society,” said Jocelyn Samuels, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal to prosecute acts motivated by racial bias.”
The case was prosecuted by Justice Department attorneys Risa Berkower and Matt Chester. Jambon was defended by Edward Castaing Jr.