The black man who was seen being beaten up in a parking garage at the August white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia is now facing a felony charge for the incident.On Monday an arrest warrant was issued for 20-year-old DeAndre Harris on an unlawful wounding charge, according to the Washington Post. The warrant was issued from a magistrate. Police said that a person claimed they were injured by Harris during the protest.
S. Lee Merritt, a civil attorney for Harris, called the charge “clearly retaliatory.” He maintained that his client didn’t instigate the fight.
“We find it highly offensive and upsetting, but what’s more jarring is that he’s been charged with the same crime as the men who attacked him,” he said.
WVIR reports that the the Charlottesville Police Department explained that the accuser went to the magistrate’s office in person to discuss what happened the day of the attack. A statement from police has been published in full by NBC 29.
Harris was participating in the counter-protest during the “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12. Footage from the rally showed a white nationalist using a Confederate flag pole to fight with a counter protester. Then, Harris used a flashlight to scuffle with the white nationalist. In return, six white supremacists beat him with wooden sticks while he lay on the parking garage ground. Harris suffered a concussion and a head laceration that required 10 staples. Two men were arrested and charged with malicious wounding for the attack.
"I was chased and beat with metal poles. I was knocked unconscious repeatedly. Every time I went to stand up I was knocked back down," Harris has said about the attack, according to BuzzFeed. "I was diagnosed with a concussion, an ulnar fracture, and had to receive eight staples in my head. I also have a laceration across my right eyebrow, abrasions on my knees & elbows, and a chipped tooth."