Police in Norfolk, Va., have arrested three more black teenagers in connection with a mob assault last month on two white reporters for the local newspaper, a case which has sparked national public outrage but little media attention.
Two 16-year-olds and one 13-year-old were taken into custody Saturday, each charged with two counts of simple assault by mob and one count of participation in a riot, both of which are misdemeanors.
It brings the total number of arrested suspects to four, since another 16-year-old was arrested May 3, charged with throwing a missile at a vehicle, a felony, as well as two counts of simple assault by mob, destruction of property and participation in a riot, all misdemeanors.
NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Two teenagers charged in connection with a Downtown Norfolk mob assault on two Virginian-Pilot reporters appeared in court Monday morning and spoke exclusively with WAVY News 10’s Andy Fox.
Police made the latest arrests , of two 16-year-olds and a 13-year old, Saturday and charged each with two counts of simple assault by mob and one count of participation in a riot. The second 16-year-old suspect will be in court Tuesday.
The two families that spoke to WAVY News 10 outside court said police have the wrong guys; that they were not involved in the attack. However, police investigators told WAVY.com Monday they were obviously arrested because somebody puts them at the scene and witnessed their involvement.
According to the police report obtained by WAVY.com , David Forster and his colleague, Marjon Rostami, had just left an event on April 14, when they came to a stoplight at the intersection of Church Street and Brambleton Avenue around 11 p.m. Forster told WAVY.com there was a huge crowd of young people and someone at the crowd threw a rock at his car.
Rostami told police she believed the rock was thrown because the suspect saw her lock her door as a large group of young black men passed by the car.
Forster got out of his car to confront the person who threw the rock and that is when both he and Rostami allege they were attacked.
Police arrested another 16-year-old suspect on May 3. He is the teen accused of throwing the rock. That makes four arrests so far in connection with this incident.
When asked if the attack was racially motivated, one teen suspect simply responded, “no.” The father of the other teen had the same response.
Bruce Sams is the attorney representing one of the 16-year-olds. He told WAVY.com, “I don’t think it has a racial intent. It was certainly an incident that happened that was more sparked. I don’t believe, from my understanding, from what I even know of what happened, that they could even be identified as two white individuals in the car.”
A witness to the attack spoke exclusively with WAVY.com. The 16-year-old is so afraid of retaliation, she insisted on hiding her identity.
10 On Your Side asked if she thinks the teen threw the rock at the car because the driver was white.
“They were throwing stuff, just because … just because. They were just hyped and ‘Oh I want to do something,'” she said. So they threw something. They didn’t know there were going to be white people in the car”
She says there were dozens of people yelling on the sidewalks, mostly kids her age.
“There were cars leaving the party and there were regular people from everyday life, just driving around,” she said. “As they were driving, people kept going. I was confused like is anybody going to get out the car? Is anybody going to beep, stop, help?”
When the driver finally got back into the car, the girl says a group of teens went to check on him. They told her the driver had blood on his face, but said he was fine and planned to tell police. (More)