NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - On the same day Norfolk police arrested three more teens in the mob assault on two newspaper reporters, a teen who witnessed the attack is sharing her story only with 10 On Your Side.
For the first time, the teenage girl describes hearing a rock hit the car window, seeing young men swinging at a helpless victim and waiting to see if anyone would stop to help.
The 16-year-old is so afraid of retaliation, she insisted on hiding her identity.
"We don't know what it hit, it was just like thud, turn around, whoa!" said the girl, as she described what caught her attention at the intersection of Church Street and Brambleton Avenue in Norfolk.
The girl says she and her friends were walking home from a house party the night of April 14, a party that let out near the intersection. That's when she says they heard a rock hit the window of the car at the red light.
"We saw a man standing in front of the car, and it was just like a bunch of people ran over there," said the 16-year-old. "There was a lot of hands swinging and we didn't know what was going on."
She was standing at a gas station, about 100 feet from the vehicle when she says she saw three or four black teenage boys punching the white driver as he tried to get away. She later learned the driver was Dave Forster, a newspaper reporter for the Virginian-Pilot.
"The car started moving with the door still open. There was still somebody swinging," she said. "They were trying to, I guess, get him out the car."
She says there were dozens of people yelling on the sidewalks, mostly kids her age. The excitement of a fight was building.
"There were cars leaving the party and there were regular people from everyday life, just driving around," she said. "As they were driving, people kept going. I was confused like is anybody going to get out the car? Is anybody going to beep, stop, help?"
When the driver finally got back into the car, the teenager says a group of teens went to check on him. They told her the driver had blood on his face, but said he was fine and planned to tell police.
So, she left. It was past curfew. She didn't want to get in trouble. But, her Twitter name ended up on a search warrant because of the tweet she posted on the walk home.
The tweet read: ""So these dumb n***** go beat a white man in his car and his car for no damn reason. f*** all y'all ignorant a**** stupid f**** -__-"
"I spoke my mind because I'm outspoken," the teen said. "I felt it was wrong so I'm going to say it, no matter what."
10 On Your Side asked her to explain why she used a racial slur to describe the attackers and 'white man' to define the driver.
"When I said n***** I meant 'people,' because I heard that n**** represents ignorance, and lack of something. I shouldn't have said it the way I did. I should have said 'ignorant people who beat up white people,'" said the teen. "You should have known what they were going to see it as, whether it was a random car, or if you did choose to go after white people."
10 On Your Side asked if she thinks the boy threw the rock at the car because the driver was white.
"They were throwing stuff, just because ... just because. They were just hyped and 'Oh I want to do something,'" she said. So they threw something. They didn't know there were going to be white people in the car. They weren't like 'Oh white people, let's hit them.' It's just like, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and chose to get out at the wrong time."
The teen says she saw national news reports about Norfolk being a 'powder keg,' ready to explode.
"When I heard that, I said 'I think they need to do more research,' because it's not even like that out here," she said.
And, her only regret, is that she didn't do more to help fight that stereotype.
"I didn't really like the sight. I didn't really want it to happen."
The girl says she does not know the identity of the attackers. She is not sure if they were at the same party she attended.
Police issued search warrants for four Twitter accounts . Two of the accounts have been taken down. One belongs to the 16-year-old girl.
The other belongs to a 20-year-old man. He denied 10 On Your Side's interview request.
Both of the Twitter account owners told WAVY.com police have not interviewed them, and they had no idea their Twitter handles were on search warrants.
Stay with WAVY News 10 and WAVY.com for updates on this developing story.
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