DeAndre Harris, the 20-year-old black man beaten by white supremacists in a Charlottesville parking garage in August, turned himself in to authorities Thursday after being charged with a crime in connection with the attack.
Merlyn Goeschl, a local magistrate, issued the warrant for Harris on a felony charge of unlawful wounding Monday, part of the continuing fallout from a viral video of the parking garage assault during the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally.
Harris, a former special-education instructional assistant who sustained a spinal injury and head wound that required 10 stitches, was released on bond after turning himself in to Charlottesville police.
Harold Ray Crews, who identifies himself online as an attorney and a “Southern Nationalist,” has claimed that Harris injured him during the brawl.
Online footage shows Crews trying to spear another counterprotester with the pole of a Confederate flag, prompting Harris to fight back. Harris swung his flashlight at Crews, appearing to hit him. But Harris’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, has argued that Harris did not injure Crews “in any way” and that footage from the rally shows that Crews was actually hurt by other counterprotesters in a separate incident.
Harris’s case is scheduled for a court hearing Friday morning at Charlottesville General District Court. Merritt said Harris will not attend the hearing and that he does not want to be interviewed by the media.
Crews has not responded to calls for comment.
News of Harris’s charge and the issuance of an arrest warrant by a local magistrate surprised many activists, including the Charlottesville Police Department.
It was Harris, after all, who was pummeled by at least five white supremacists inside the parking garage.
Online sleuths, led by Black Lives Matter activist and journalist Shaun King, have led the quest to identify all five men. So far, three have been found, and each has been arrested and charged with malicious wounding: Daniel P. Borden, 18, of Ohio; Alex Michael Ramos, 33, of Georgia; and Jacob Scott Goodwin, 22, of Ward, Ark. Goodwin was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on Tuesday night — the day after the warrant for Harris was issued.