An incident involving an 18-year-old Confederate flag supporter who was beaten by witnesses after running over a 4-year-old with his car in Winona, Minnesota has raised questions regarding whether the altercation was race-related.
Ryan — identified only by his first name — hit 4-year-old Damajae Winn while driving with his 13-year-old girlfriend, Brook Schrumpf, on Monday, according to CBS Minnesota. Schrumpf told reporters her boyfriend didn’t realize he hit the child until it was too late.
After braking and hopping out of the car to check on Damajae, the teen was allegedly attacked by up to 10 witnesses.
Neighbors claim Ryan, who is White, would often provoke his African-American neighbors by driving his truck around and displaying the Confederate flag. A witness claimed enough was enough after the child was run over, but Schrumpf says it was an accident and they didn’t mean any harm in having the flag posted outside the car.
CBS Minnesota reports:
“We didn’t see him until after the fact,” Schrumpf said. “We didn’t see him until he was lying on the ground. He’s like, ‘I’m pretty sure I just hit a kid.’ I’m like, Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. His mom kept screaming at me. ‘You’re a racist b—-‘ and just yelling at me and all these guys were coming at Ryan and hitting him. It was nothing towards them, we didn’t even see the kid, so it was rough with everybody saying it was because we had the Confederate flag out.”
She added that Ryan’s flag was stolen a few months ago and burned.
Damajae’s mother said her son was taken to the hospital and later discharged.
Ryan suffered bruises and swelling on his face. Police are looking into both incidents.
For more on the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, click here.
SOURCE: CBS Minnesota | PHOTO CREDIT: Thinkstock
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