A man was sentenced Wednesday to serve life in prison with all time suspended but 30 years for a series of attacks that prosecutors described as “steeped in hatred and prejudice” at several Asian American-owned businesses in West Baltimore.
Darryl Doles, 53, of Coldstream Homestead Montebello, cried and wiped tears throughout his sentencing in Baltimore Circuit Court on charges of attempted first-degree murder, second-degree assault and hate crimes. He repeatedly apologized and stated that he had been dealing with substance use disorder since he was 17.
“I accept responsibility for what I did,” Doles said. “But that’s not me.”
Circuit Judge Jeannie J. Hong watched surveillance video in court of the attacks, including one in which Doles repeatedly struck two sisters with a cement block. She said what she witnessed was horrific.
“They are lucky they are still alive,” Hong said. “We could be here for a murder conviction.”
Doles, she ordered, must also spend five years on probation, take part in drug treatment and undergo mental health counseling.
Before 11:30 p.m. on May 2, 2021, Doles went to Linden Bar & Liquors, on West North Avenue between Linden Avenue and Jordan Street in Reservoir Hill, to use the lottery machine.
A security guard asked Doles to leave after he refused to put on a mask. That’s when he got angry, threw the lottery machine on the ground, kicked it and walked out.
Later, Doles returned to the store but left again when the security guard ordered him out. He then came back and assaulted the guard with a piece of lumber.
Next, Doles went to 40/40 Liquor Beer & Wine, on Pennsylvania Avenue between Gold Street and Bloom Street in Druid Heights, kicked a display window, knocked down wine bottles and left the store.
When the owner of the store told him not to come back, prosecutors reported, Doles turned around and stated, “F--- Chinese!”
Later, Doles walked down to Wonder Land Liquors & Bar, on Pennsylvania Avenue between Bloom Street and Presstman Street in Upton, kicked the display window, knocked over items and caused a disturbance.
Doles then attacked two women with a cement block. Baltimore Police later arrested him.
At one point, Doles made comments that included, “They need to go back to their country” and “They f----- your country up, but you still love them. F--- outta here. I won’t eat s--- out their motherf------ stores,” prosecutors reported.
Assistant State’s Attorney Cynthia Banks asked for the maximum sentence under a plea agreement: life with all time suspended but 30 years in prison plus five years’ probation.
Banks said she found it “absolutely appalling” that a man would try to scapegoat an entire group of people for the COVID-19 pandemic. She called what happened a racial and ethnic attack.
“He blamed innocent people,” said Banks, who read a statement on behalf of one of the women. “He attacked innocent people.”
In a statement, Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates described the crime as “an act of heinous violence” that was “steeped in hatred and prejudice.”
Staci Pipkin, Doles’ attorney, asked for a sentence of life with all time suspended but 20 years in prison plus five years’ probation.
She said what happened was “universally tragic.” Pipkin said her client previously refused to watch the surveillance video and would emotionally shut down, so much so that she requested he be evaluated for competency to stand trial.
“He’s horrified. He’s expressed remorse,” Pipkin said. “He has never once waivered from accepting responsibility for his actions.”
Pipkin said it is “uncontroverted” that her client was “high out of his mind.” He even pulled out and used a gel cap of heroin after law enforcement detained him.
As correctional officers prepared to lead him out of the courtroom, Doles turned to the gallery and addressed the security guard. He gave a statement at sentencing.
Said Doles: “I truly am sorry for what I have done to you.”