Baltimore man gets decades in prison for attacking Asian business owners with cement block

A Baltimore man has been sentenced years after he was accused of targeting several Asian American businesses with violence and of attempting to murder two of the business owners. 

Darryl Doles, 53, was given a life sentence with all but 30 years suspended Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder, a hate crime, and second-degree assault, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office said in a news release

In 2021, Doles swung at a security guard at an Asian American-owned liquor store with a 4-foot-long piece of lumber before he ransacked two other Asian American businesses and struck one of the owners and her sister in the head with a cement block, the release said. 

“This was an act of heinous violence, steeped in hatred and prejudice, against two business owners in our community,” State’s Attorney Ivan J. Bates said in the release. 

Doles’ attorney, Staci Pipkin, did not respond to a request for comment. Pipkin said during sentencing that she had requested that her client be evaluated for competency to stand trial and that he was “high out of his mind” during the incident.  

“He’s horrified. He’s expressed remorse,” Pipkin said, according to The Baltimore Banner, a local news website. “He has never once wavered from accepting responsibility for his actions.”

Doles began the string of attacks after he was denied entry to Linden Discount Liquors for refusing to wear a mask and comply with the store’s Covid restrictions, the release said. When the store’s security guard asked him to leave, Doles threw a lottery machine to the ground and walked out, only to return claiming to have left personal items there, according to the release. After he was forced to leave a second time, Doles came back with the lumber in hand and struck the security guard before the store owner managed to confiscate the weapon, the release said. 

Minutes later, Doles visited 40/40 Liquors, where he kicked a display window and knocked down wine bottles before he left, the release said. When the owner ordered him to never return, Doles replied by yelling an anti-Asian slur, it said.

Doles entered a third Asian-owned liquor store, Wonder Land Liquors, not long afterward, knocking over items and causing a disturbance, the release said. Though authorities were called and Doles had left the business for a few moments, he returned as the owner began locking up the store, it said.

“Doles appeared with a piece of concrete, 1 to 2 inches thick and 8 to 9 inches square, in one hand. The owner saw the object and tried to grab it from Doles,” the release said. “The two locked arms and fell to the ground. Doles grabbed her by the hair and pushed her face to the ground. The owner tried to retrieve the block from Doles’ left hand, but he pulled it away while kneeling on top of her and struck her three times in the head with the concrete block.”

When the owner’s sister tried to stop Doles, she was also struck in the head, the release said. 

“Though injured, the owner ran over to aid her sister and removed Doles’ mask. Doles then hit both women in the head repeatedly with the cement block,” the release said. 

The sisters were eventually able to take the block from him, get him out of the store and call 911 again before a Baltimore police officer arrived. The owner’s son helped locate Doles, who was detained by officers. 

In conversation with a person he identified as “Shawn,” Doles allegedly made statements like “They need to go back to their country,” according to the release.  

Doles is being held at Baltimore Central Booking and Intake. 

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