NEW BOSTON, Texas — A man accused of a racially motivated assault on a Black teenager was placed on house arrest Friday and ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitor by a district judge in Bowie County.
Charles Mitchell Patton, 26, was arrested in August 2019 for allegedly attacking the 14-year-old as he walked down a street in his neighborhood. A Bowie County grand jury indicted Patton for injury to a child and the Bowie County District Attorney's Office filed notice it would seek an enhanced punishment based on a Texas hate crimes statute. An additional enhancement related to a prior felony conviction was filed as well.
In addition to the injury to a child charge, Patton also has pending charges of possession of marijuana, four ounces to five pounds, and a charge of prohibited item in a correctional facility which allegedly occurred after he was arrested for injury to a child.
Following his arrest in August 2019, a hold by Texas parole was placed on Patton and he was ineligible for release on bail. At some point during the time Bowie County record keeping systems were down because of a cyber attack, the parole hold was lifted.
Patton was released Feb. 5 on bonds totaling $92,500.
Judge John Tidwell, 202nd District Court, told Patton at a hearing Friday that he was surprised recently to see Patton dining at a Mexican food restaurant in New Boston.
"As you could tell from the look on my face, I was surprised when you walked into Amigo Juan's a couple of weeks ago," Tidwell said. "I was surprised you had been released."
Tidwell told Patton he would allow him to remain on bond with some restrictions.
"I want you to go home. You're on house arrest," Tidwell said.
Patton can only leave his residence to seek emergency medical care, attend court or for meetings with pretrial services.
"By Monday at 4 p.m. I want you to have a GPS monitor on your ankle," Tidwell said.
Tidwell also ordered a litany of standard bond conditions including random drug testing and no contact with other convicted felons. If Patton shows a pattern of compliance with the court's bond conditions, Tidwell said he may consider allowing Patton to leave his house to work.
Patton's pending cases are scheduled for a pretrial hearing April 26.
Patton allegedly stopped his pickup the afternoon of July 28, 2019, as he traveled along the 200 block of Center Street in New Boston, Texas, according to a probable cause affidavit. Patton allegedly approached a Black teen who lives in the area, as the 14-year-old walked down the street.
Patton allegedly made racially offensive statements before removing his shirt, revealing a chest tattoo of a swastika, before swinging at the boy with a closed fist. The boy reported that he was able to avoid Patton's first punch but the second landed on his face and caused a laceration in the boy's mouth.
Two other white men who were in the truck Patton drove reportedly got out of the truck "to get the suspect away from the juvenile," the affidavit states.
Injury to a child is typically punishable by two to 10 years in prison under Texas law. However, Patton's punishment range is being double enhanced to that of a first-degree felony, five to 99 years or life.
The drug offense is punishable by six months to two years in a state jail. If found guilty of possessing a prohibited item in a correctional facility, two cell phones, Patton faces two to 10 years in prison.