HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Sunday’s march from Bryant Park to Lakeside Avenue in Henrico County took a terrible turn when protesters say a man, who later identified himself as Ku Klux Klan member, used his car as a weapon.
Harry Rogers, a 36-year-old Hanover man who goes by Skip, told Henrico officers he is the “highest ranking member of the KKK.” 8News found Rogers’ social media pages filled with Confederate ideology, but noticed at some point today that his Facebook pages had been deactivated.
Rogers is behind bars, accused of driving a blue Chevrolet truck into a crowd of protesters. One witness told 8News, Rogers’ truck had “Trump 2020”, “Guns Save Lives”, and Confederate flag stickers on it.
“I heard a loud roar behind me,” said Richard Sebastian, who attended the protest.
Those protesting say the roar was Rogers revving his truck’s engine. A short time after he’s seen driving recklessly on the median on Lakeside Avenue– eventually accelerating into the crowd, hitting Sebastian.
“He ran over my front wheel and my foot and continued to press forward and kind of speed through as the protesters kind of scattered,” Sebastian recalled. “His face was frighteningly calm and that’s what terrified me to be honest.”
Sebastian was riding his cargo bike during the protest, hauling snacks, water, gloves and masks for demonstrators. He says when the incident happened protesters were shouting at Rogers as he sped away.
“The protesters were on both sides on his truck telling him to stop,” said Sebastian. “He had no emotion. His face was kind of blank and it really reminded me of what happened in Charlottesville.”
In 2017, during the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, James Fields Jr., a known white supremacist, rammed his Dodge Charger into a crowd of protesters at a high rate of speed killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens. Sebastian told 8News Rogers was spotted on the front lines at the rally.
Back in 2016, The Progress-Index, a local newspaper, snapped a picture of Rogers at the WWII Memorial in Colonial Heights wearing a white Klan robe, waving a Confederate flag. He also participated in numerous Confederate flag rides.
The Progress-Index article states Rogers is the organizer of the NAACP (National Association for Awakening Confederate Patriots). The groups Facebook page reads, “the other NAACP.”
Sebastian believes protesters were targeted and followed, telling 8News Rogers sped off after running him over and then continued to follow the crowd to the A.P Hill statue. As Sebastian continued to march, he says he noticed Rogers’ blue truck sitting by the statue, watching and filming the crowd.
“That’s when I decided to contact Henrico police and filed charges,” said Sebastian. “I was really worried about what he was going to do and what he had planned.”
Rogers was arrested at the corner of Laburnum Avenue and Hermitage Road and is facing malicious wounding, felony vandalism, and assault and battery charges.
Henrico County’s Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor is deciding whether hate crimes charges are appropriate, calling the incident “heinous” and “despicable.” Rogers was in court Monday and was denied bond. He is expected to be back in court in August.
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