A black man in Indiana says he feared he was about to be lynched in a heated Fourth of July encounter with a group of white men that was partially caught on video.
Vauhxx Rush Booker wrote on Facebook that he was walking with a friend Saturday to watch a lunar eclipse near Lake Monroe when he was confronted by a man in a Confederate flag hat who appeared to be inebriated.
The man followed them in an ATV and told them they were on private property, according to Booker, who told the man he believed he had permission to cross.
Booker said he soon learned that the person who granted permission “wasn’t the actual property owner.”
As he and the pal were leaving, Booker said they encountered several more white men who “quickly became aggressive” and asked them to take a different route.
Moments later, according to Booker, the men attacked him from behind, knocking him to the ground.
“The five were able to easily overwhelm me and got me to the ground and dragged me pinning my body against a tree as they began pounding on my head and ripped off some of my hair, with several of them still on top of my body holding me down,” Booker wrote.
Booker said one of the alleged perpetrators jumped on his neck, using what felt like “his full body weight.”
Other people who heard the commotion tried to help as the alleged attackers told them, “we’re going to break his arms,” while instructing their pals to “get a noose,” Booker wrote.
Booker shared several clips of the incident, including one showing bystanders trying to intervene — and the back of a man who appears to be held against a tree by another man.
“Please let him go,” someone could be heard saying.
In another video, one of the men repeatedly refers to someone behind the camera as a “nappy-headed bitch.”
“You nappy-headed bitch … You happy with your five white friends?” the shirtless man can be heard saying.
Booker said the Indiana Department of Natural Resources responded to the scene, but they “refused to arrest any of these individuals.”
The agency confirmed the incident is under investigation and a final report will be sent to local prosecutors, Storyful reported.
But Booker said that he’s speaking out because he’s “gravely concerned that if any other people of color who were to cross their path they could be killed.”
“I don’t want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching,” Booker wrote on Facebook. “I don’t want this to have happened to me or anyone.
“It hurts my soul, and my pride, but there are multiple witnesses and it can’t be hidden or avoided.”