A black man in Indiana says he feared he was about to be lynched in a heated July 4 meeting 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 on Saturday to see a lunar eclipse near Lake Monroe when he was confronted by a man in a Confederate flag hat who appeared to be drunk.
The man followed them on 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 issued the permit “was not the actual owner of the property.”
As he and the friend left, 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 and threw him to the ground.
“The five of them were able to easily overwhelm me and took me to the ground and dragged me to hold my body against a tree when they started hitting me on the head and pulled out some of my hair, with several of them still on top of my body holding down, “Booker wrote.
Booker said one of the alleged perpetrators jumped on his neck, using what felt like “his full body weight.”
Others who heard the commotion tried to help as the suspected attackers said, “We’re going to break his arms,” while ordering his friends to “get a knot,” Booker wrote.
Booker shared several clips of the incident, including one showing passers-by 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 heard himself say.
In another video, one of the men repeatedly refers to someone behind the camera as a “diaper-headed bitch.”
“You’re a diaper-headed bitch … Are you happy with your five white friends? You can hear the shirtless man say.
Booker said the Indiana Department of Natural Resources responded to the scene, but that “they refused to arrest any of these individuals.”
The agency confirmed that the incident is under investigation and a final report will be sent to local prosecutors, Storyful reported.
But Booker said he is speaking because he is “gravely concerned that if someone else of color crosses his path, he could be killed.”
“I don’t want to tell you this, but I was almost a victim of an lynching attempt,” Booker wrote on Facebook. “I don’t want this to have happened to me or to anyone.
“My soul and pride hurt, but there are several witnesses and it cannot be hidden or avoided.”