HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– The same day that Ahmaud Arbery’s killers were sentenced for hate crimes a Hanover man spoke with 8News of a similar event he experienced.
Ralph Mills said that just like Ahmaud Arbery, he was jogging when attacked unprovoked by a man calling him racial slurs. Fortunately, he said he wasn’t seriously hurt during the attack.
This cellphone video obtained by 8News shows the moments after the attack, as the alleged attacker Patrick Francis Martin is being arrested.
“What are you supposed to be doing buddy? Huh? You intimidating me with a cellphone camera?” Martin can be heard saying to Mills in the video, who’s behind the camera.
“I’m thinking we’re just passing each other like two human beings are when I hear ‘[expletive], hey, I’m going to kill you F’ing [expletive]’ I was like hey — just like — hey just let it go,” Mills said.
According to the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Mills said Martin approached him with a pocket knife yelling at him and threatening him. This was in the 8000 block of Vaughn drive at 5:38 a.m. on July 22. Mills told deputies then that he did nothing to provoke this action from Martin.
“He’s swinging the knife back and forth,” Mills said. “He was that close to me with the knife.”
Deputies found Martin with a pocket knife that morning and arrested him for assault. Mills said he had seen Martin once before the incident, and the interaction wasn’t pleasant. Mills said he’s angry he has now had an experience so familiar to many African-Americans.
“I don’t know why I was picked out of the litter but I was and I’m just shocked,” Martin said. “I’m part of the whole Ahmaud Arbery case situation at hand, Eric Gardner, Breonna Taylor, all of those people actually came up in my brain.”
Mills told 8News he’s filed a couple of protective orders against Martin and has also reached out to the NAACP. 8News is still waiting to hear back from the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office on several questions.