A Chicago man with a history of hate crimes was arrested once again after going on a racist rant at a local bar and shooting a man he believed was an illegal immigrant in the face with a pellet gun while claiming to be a police officer, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Michael Groh, 45, is being held on $1 million bail after being charged with a felony hate crime, impersonation of a peace officer and aggravated battery, police stated. He was also charged with possessing a replica firearm, a misdemeanor.
According to police reports, Groh accosted a 39-year-old Latino man, calling him “a f*cking Mexican” and demanding to see his green card after the man said he was from South America.
Assistant State’s Attorney Barry Quinn said Groh continued to yell racial slurs at the man, who responded back before attempting to leave the bar. Groh then announced that he was a Chicago police officer and pulled out a Smith & Wesson pellet gun. He shot the man three times in the head, hitting him once in the eye.
Groh was subdued by the bartender until police arrived and took him into custody.
According to police, Groh was wearing a tactical vest, carrying two metal badges and handcuffs. Groh also had a handwritten ID card indicating he was in law enforcement.
Groh has a felony hate crime conviction dating back to 2004 after being asked to leave a car dealership for being unruly, prosecutors said.
During that incident, he pushed a black employee while using racial slurs and threatening to kill the man. He received 175 days in jail, two years of “intensive probation,” and was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
According to police, Groh’s latest victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he had “immediate surgery” and may lose his left eye.