‘I’m grateful’: Woman led to safety by black protesters after car damaged during unrest

A Henrico woman says a violent group of protesters threatened her while driving down the street and damaged her car.
A Henrico woman says a violent group of protesters threatened her while driving down the street and damaged her car.(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT
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A Henrico woman says her car was damaged by violent protesters early Sunday morning who gathered along Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond.

For the last three nights businesses and buildings across the city have been vandalized during protests that turned violent.

One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was at the intersection of Arthur Ashe Boulevard and Hanover Avenue around 12:15 a.m. Sunday when she noticed a group of people gathering near the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, but didn’t expect what came next.

"They were all gathering there and then bam, they're in the middle of the street," she said.

This woman said everything happened so quickly after a group of four to five white men on bicycles, wearing masks, swarmed her car.

"I was like we're just going right there and that's when they bashed my windshield in," she said.

More than 24 hours later she is still shaken about that encounter.

"Oh my god I still can't even believe it happened," she added.

However, those angry protesters did not just target her front windshield. The woman said her front tire was slashed and her back windshield broken.

"I could hear it shattering," she said.

According to the woman, the group then threatened them saying, “You better leave or you’ll be sorry.”

As she and her boyfriend drove away, they were eventually met by another group near the Stonewall Jackson monument.

"The crowd had grown exponentially," the woman said.

However, some of the people in this group did not advance on them in a violent way.

"About four or five African Americans were like what happened to your car, are you okay? Where do you need to go?” the woman said. “They moved the crowd and led us to safety."

For that, this woman cannot thank them enough.

“I feel grateful,” she said. “It was the only time I felt safe… they parted the crowd so I could turn around, or else we wouldn’t have been able to move and who knows what would have happened.”

Since then she has stayed with friends, unable to go home right away, but has a message for those responsible for the damage to her car.

"It doesn't have to be like that,” she said. “I feel like it's an excuse. We can protest, and I do feel like our voices need to be heard for everyone, but this, and the vandalism and burning things, it's unnecessary."

Immediately after she was able to get to safety, she did file a report with Richmond Police and is working on getting her car repaired.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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