A Virginia magistrate has issued an arrest warrant for a black man who was beaten by white nationalists in Charlottesville in August.
Deandre Harris, 20, is reportedly accused of attacking one of the men in the group that beat him during the demonstrations on Aug. 12, when anti-racist protester Heather Heyer was killed by a driver who rammed into a crowd.
Harris' attorney, Lee Meritt, told WCPO 9 that the charges were “clearly retaliatory” and that his client would turn himself in within 24 hours. Harris raised $166,000 on GoFundMe for his medical expenses in the wake of the attacks.
“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 wrote. “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.”
The police department's statement, published in full by local news outlet NBC 29, states that Harris' arrest warrant was issued after a magistrate reviewed evidence presented by detectives. Once Harris is taken in to custody, an update will be sent to the media, the department added.
Meanwhile, two men, Alex Michael Ramos and Daniel Borden, are charged with “malicious wounding” for allegedly attacking Harris, according to NBC 29.
Charlottesville police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The brawl that ended with Harris needing eight staples in his head was the subject of vigorous debate online in the subsequent months.
Brad Griffin, who blogs under the pen name at the neo-Confederate site Occidental Dissent, celebrated Harris' arrest warrant as a victory. White nationalists scoured social media for information on Harris after the Charlottesville incident.
And Jason Kessler, who organized Unite the Right, retweeted an account using the handle @RedCville.
Shaun King, a former columnist for the New York Post and who now writes for the Intercept, also waged a campaign to identify the men who assaulted Harris in the wake of the demonstrations.
One tweet calling for the identification of the assailants was retweeted 99,000 times.