Jared Benjamin Lafer of Bakersville, Tennessee has been charged with one count of aggravated assault
Lafer, 37, was filmed ‘mowing down a Black Lives Matter protester, [with his SUV], at a rally and leaving him with two broken legs’
Footage shows as the demonstrator, Jonathan Bowers, 31, was hit in Johnson City on Saturday by a white Ford Expedition
Bowers was standing at a crosswalk with other protesters when he was assaulted with the hulking vehicle
In footage from the scene, the driver of the SUV, later identified as Lafer, heads straight at the protester
After knocking the victim to the ground the driving runs over him and flees the scene
Lafer, released on $20,000 bond
His attorney Mac Meade said: ‘This is not a case about racism. This is a case about a man who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time’
‘Faced with what he perceived as a dangerous condition, dangerous situation – his wife and his three young kids’ were all in the car with him
More than 1,000 people have since signed a petition to see the Lafer charged with attempted vehicular homicide
A North Carolina man was arrested Monday after footage showed an SUV running over a Black Lives Matter protester during a rally in Tennessee on Saturday.
Jared Benjamin Lafer, 37, handed himself in to police and was charged with one count of aggravated assault, officials said.
A clip posted to Facebook over the weekend had shown the moment demonstrator Jonathan Bowers, 31, was hit standing in a crosswalk in Johnson City.
Footage from the crosswalk shows the SUV driver Jared Benjamin Lafer hit the demonstrator in Johnson City on Saturday, knocking him to the ground and running him over, before fleeing the scene.
In the clip the protester is seen standing in front of the SUV, along with at least one other demonstrator.
Protester breaks leg after being run over at BLM event in Tennessee.
It is not known what led up to the incident but the driver then mows the demonstrator down.
After knocking the protester to the ground the motorist drives over his legs before fleeing the scene.
A second protester with a dog can be seen standing just yards away.
The person recording the footage says ‘o my god’ as other protesters then rush to helped the man mowed down.
Court documents reveal new details from the victim’s account.
In the affidavit Browser claims that as a group of protesters were crossing State of Franklin on Saturday, some drivers were growing impatient and at one point a black car honked their horn and “flicked-off” participants as it drove around them, Bowers told police.
Then the white SUV also honked, but while it was going “maybe two miles an hour,”it kept rolling forward, bumped him before knocking the him down and running over both his legs, Bowers said.
The the vehicle’s North Carolina tag was caught on video and tracked by law enforcement.
Lafer’s registered phone number went unanswered when police called. No one answered the door at his home either.
Instead, on Sunday, investigators received a phone call from a North Carolina attorney who Lafer had contacted. Apparently Lafer first retained the services of a Tennessee attorney before turning himself in the next day.
Lafer was arraigned in court for his aggravated assault, waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
His next court date is October 26th. Lafer’s attorneys requested the case be reset to allow for more time to gather information.
“To see if there are any other videos, to interview witnesses, and to just attempt to really find the truth of the matter,” Meade said.
More than 1,000 people have since signed a petition to see the Lafer charged with attempted vehicular homicide.
Posting the footage online, Brent Chaffin said: ‘Tonight at a peaceful protest for #BlackLivesMatter a car brutally ran over a photographer and a crowd of protesters who were lawfully in a crosswalk.’
Lafer, who was released on $20,000 bond, is from Bakersville, which is an hour from Johnson City.
Online profiles for Lafer show he is a real estate agent who had worked for Coldwell Banker King.
‘Mr. Lafer was an independent contractor with Coldwell Banker King. He is no longer affiliated with our company. We have no relationship with Jared Lafer,’ the owner Terri King said, responding to inquiries.
Lafer’s attorney Mac Meade said: ‘This is not a case about racism. This is a case about a man who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, faced with what he perceived as a dangerous condition, dangerous situation.
‘His entire family, his wife and his three young kids under the age of six were all in the car with him. And he did what he felt was necessary to get out of a situation that he felt was dangerous to his family.’
This defense only served to incense witnesses. Victoria Grace Hewlett from protest organizers, the New Panthers Initiative, said: ‘The driver [Lafer], could have turned left at the intersection, avoided the occupied crosswalk and easily taken another route, but chose to drive their car through a crowd lawfully using a crosswalk.
‘The driver was clearly in no danger and had no right to put other peoples’ lives in danger. After running the individual over, the driver proceeded to speed away showing no regard for the person they injured.’
Hewlett confirmed the victim was left with two broken legs.