Deandre Harris assault case progresses

Man charged with malicious wounding of Deandre Harris during 'Unite the Right' rally

ns-DeandreHarris-CourtesyDeandreHarris

Deandre Harris was brutally attacked by a group of men in a downtown Charlottesville parking garage during the Aug. 12  “Unite the Right” rally.

Courtesy Deandre Harris | Cavalier Daily

A man has been arrested for the beating of 20-year-old Deandre Harris, who was brutally attacked by a group of men in a downtown Charlottesville parking garage during the Aug. 12  “Unite the Right” rally.

Daniel P. Borden, an 18-year-old Ohio resident, has been charged with malicious wounding.

Police said over the weekend Borden was being held at the Hamilton County jail in Cincinnati.

Harris was struck repeatedly with large metal poles and needed assistance escaping from his attackers who continued to punch and kick him as he tried to stand. He sustained a concussion, broken wrist and wounds requiring stitches. The attack occurred alongside widespread violence, including the death of Heather Heyer and injuring of at least 35 people when a car drove into a crowd near the Downtown Mall.

Police have since arrested James Alex Fields Jr. in connection with the car incident and have charged him with multiple felonies, including second-degree murder.

Harris works as an instructional aid for special education classes in Charlottesville and has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for medical bills. As of Monday evening, over $166,000 has been raised, surpassing the page’s goal of $50,000.

“I arrived at Emancipation Park around 11 AM as a counter-protester to voice my opinion on racial tensions and to literally stand up for what I believe in,” Harris wrote on the page. “I was only there for a few minutes before I was hit with water bottles, maced with pepper spray, and had [derogatory] slurs hurled at me.”

It was an hour later that Harris was attacked by six men in the Market Street Parking Garage, which is located next to the Charlottesville Police Station. Harris said officials did not respond to the attack, and it was friends who eventually helped him to escape.

Police have also issued a warrant for Alex Michael Ramos, 33, for his role in the Harris attack. Ramos was identified by civilians after videos of him striking Harris circulated online on social media. He had allegedly denounced white supremacist beliefs in an earlier video, but joined in on the attack early on.

Cell phone videos played a major role in the identification of all three suspects. Harris’ lawyer, S. Lee Merritt, has said Shaun King, New York Daily News Senior Justice Writer and civil rights activist, was responsible for identifying the suspects in the attack videos.

Through Facebook and Twitter, King helped circulate the videos and offered a $10,000 reward to those with further information. He shared eyewitness accounts of the attack, along with photos and pictures of each of the attackers.

Numerous people, including Harris’ lawyer and family members, have criticized the Charlottesville Police Department for what they considered a slow response to the initial attack and the subsequent video circulation.

The Police Department has said its officials did not see the attack when it occurred. This specific criticism is just one of many concerns that have been raised about the city’s response and preparation for the “Unite the Right” rally.

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