Suffolk native says he was beaten during Charlottesville violence

Posted at 6:14 PM, Aug 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 14:49:24-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - A Suffolk native says he was beaten by white supremacists when violence broke out in Charlottesville on Saturday.

20-year-old Deandre Harris tells News 3 he went to the white nationalist rally in Emancipation Park to protest the gathering and ended up exchanging words with some who attended the rally.

Harris, who moved to Charlottesville two years ago, says he was attacked when he headed into a parking garage near the police station.

"As I fall down I'm getting beat by poles and signs and people are hitting me and kicking me," said Harris. "I got eight staples in my head, I got a cut [above my eyebrow], a busted lip, I broke my wrist, (I have) a chipped tooth."

Harris' parents say this photo from Twitter shows their son being beaten:

There have also been videos circulating other social media websites that show the alleged attack continuing as Harris struggled to get up.

Harris, who says he works with local children with special needs, tells News 3 he was drifting in and out of consciousness.

"Every time I think about it and I think about seeing those videos, it hurts. It hurts a lot," Felicia Harris, Deandre's mother, tearfully told News 3 Sunday.

Felicia and Deandre's father, Anthony, are hoping the people behind the reported attack are caught.

"They could have killed my son. That blow to his head could have taken his life," she said.

A GoFundMe page to help Harris with medical bills raised more than $100,000 is less than a day.