DRAPER, Utah -- A man has been sentenced to 9 months in prison for a racially-motivated assault that occurred in Draper in 2016. Right before a judge announced Mark Porter's sentence Thursday, Porter launched into a lengthy, racially-charged rant in court.
Porter is a former Draper resident who moved to Arizona but was extradited back to Utah for the case. A jury found Porter guilty of committing a federal hate crime with a dangerous weapon in March of this year.
Prosecutors say Porter shouted a racial slur at a 7-year-old boy as the child rode a scooter in an apartment complex’s common area in November 2016.
Porter told the child to “get out of here” and then used a stun cane to injure the boy’s father. Authorities previously said the man used a “Zap Cane”, which is advertised as a cane that contains a stun gun capable of delivering “one million volts”.
Porter then used a racial slur to refer to both the victim and his son.
When FBI agents arrested Porter at his Arizona home last September, their body camera footage shows Porter telling the story of the hate crime from his perspective.
"I just said, 'Get out of here you little stinkin' N*****,'" Porter says, of what he told the young boy. When the boy returned with his father, Porter said he held up his stun cane and it started sparking.
"I said, 'I got something for you.' And I come out, and I held my Zap Cane out, right?" Porter recounted to the FBI agent in the arrest video. "And [the father] walked up against it, and it went against his chest."
Porter argues he did nothing wrong. During his interaction with agents, he makes a number of strong statements about people of color.
"See, Hitler had the right idea," Porter said, to the agent. "The wrong people. Should’ve gassed N******."
At one point, he asks the agent, "You're not a white trash N***** lover, are you? I don't respect them, they're not human."
He says he told his apartment complex about his views.
"I don’t want nothing to do with them, and I even told them when I moved in, I said, ‘I don’t want to live next to any of them.’ I told them at the complex," Porter said.
In court Thursday, Porter shared similar sentiments during a several-minutes-long ramble of his opinions, minus the racial slurs.
"I just don't like seeing them or being around them," he said, of people of color. He said people of color are pimps, drug dealers and often commit home invasions.
"They are dangerous people," he said, later adding that he knew black people as "being very violent."
"He had no remorse whatsoever. No apologies for what happened and what he did," said Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP Salt Lake Branch.
She said she was disappointed at the 9-month sentence, which she called a slap on the wrist.
"It seems like he hasn't heard a thing. It was painful to sit there through the sentencing, and to hear what he had to say," said Dave Backman, criminal chief of the U.S. Attorney's Office. "He is obviously racist, and we’re very concerned that he has not learned from this."
While there doesn't seem to be any change of heart or remorse from Porter, Backman said they're still thrilled at the way this played out in court.
"He'll always be a felon going forward," he said, adding that it, "sends the right message to the community that someone like this will be held accountable for a very serious crime."
The judge gave Porter credit for time already served. He's expected to be released and return home to Arizona on June 15.
Mike Waldvogel, the hate crime victim, sent this statement to Fox 13 Thursday evening:
"My little family and I are extremely disappointed in the judge’s decision regarding the sentencing. It’s sad & disheartening. Mr. Porter is a violent and hateful individual who has deep rooted erroneous beliefs. We hope that no one else becomes a victim at the hands of Mr. Porter in the future. We will be forever grateful to the Draper Police Department, the US Attorneys and the Federal Attorneys who helped us along the way."