Indiana man on lynching threat: ‘Scared for my life’

published on July 9, 2020

Tonight a black man from Indiana isaccusing a group of white men ofattacking him and threatening to lynchand allegedly threatening to get a nooseclaiming that he and his friendstrespassed on the private property ontheir way to a public beach tonight and

Alerting the FBI has launched a hatecrimes investigation here's Alex Pereztonight investigations underway inIndiana after this disturbing videoposted on social media showing a groupof white men attacking a black man a 36

Year old Vox Booker thank garden the menhurling racist slurs and pinning bookeragainst a treeone of the gentlemen yells to his friendto get a noose the ordeal unfolding July4th at Lake Monroe near Bloomington

Indiana Booker says he and his friendwho's white were headed to the publicbeach when he says the man accused himof trespassing on private propertyBooker says he tried to calmly talk tothem but was assaulted Booker says what

Saved him was that his friends andbystanders refused to leave the countyprosecutor saying she's waiting forinvestigators to turn the case in forreview but tonight we've learned the FBIis opening a hate crime investigation

Our thanks to Alex Perez and Foxx Bookerjoins us now thank you so much for yourtime foxes we just heard Alex restatedthat you did suffer a concussion how areyou feeling physically at least tonighthaving experience I'm pleased to see

That the CEO community officials step upand speak out and to see theoverwhelming support I received from mycommunity it set the scene for us let'sjust backtrack for a moment it wasfourth of July you were walking with

Friends to see the lunar eclipse andthen what happens so I came into thescene with some flames we decided to dosomething that was more alternative forthe fourth of Julyso as we're hiking to the site to watch

The little Eclipse we encounter agentleman who has on a large oversizedcowboy hat with the Confederate flagprint on it cordial we continue walkinghe drives a TV up behind uswell we engaged for a moment he tells us

That a warm private property that heowns a land I knew we weren't really onprivate property because we were stilljust within 150 feet zone at the beach abit of a luminary have a conflict thatwe just apologized and continued on to

The event at what point did you realizethat de-escalating the situation was nota possibility so at first we were havinga productive conversation with teammembers of his group I think we werereally connecting and then the gentleman

That had the Hat on joined us and he wasvery belligerent the situation quicklybegan to deteriorate my friend and Ibeing just opted to walk away so as wewere walking away about a minute later Ihear footsteps quickly approached and a

Man who observed behind me tries tostrike me falls to the ground anotherman comes as a tussleand before I know it five gentlemen hadme dragged me to a tree the weeding onmy body – OH – me down and you say that

The men threatened to break your armsand said get a news while telling yourfriends to leave the area one of the menhad that hat on as you said with aconfederate flag on it and that theymade statements about white power so

What's going through your mind duringall of this we're on the ground and Ican feel the impacts of my body andthere's a scary moment where thegentleman jumps on my neck with bothfeet I can feel his body weight at this

Time people are starting to hear thecommotion and try to intervene thoughbeing stabbed by other members of thegroup I was scared for my lifeand you have said that you believe thatyou are alive today because folks stop

Being bystanders what do you think wouldhave happened asking you obviously tohave a little conjecture here if thisincident were not caught on camera therewas a scary moment during my pressconference today when I was hearing some

Of the folks speak about the thealtercation and a gentleman said he feltlike they were enjoying injuring me andthat they took some type of twistedpleasure out of it so I'm scared thatthe natural conclusion would just have

Been that they whether they actuallyhung me by a tree or they beat me todeath that I would have died mm-hmm inthe FBI as you mentioned they've openeda hate crime investigation Indianaconservation officers responded to the

Incident in a statement they tell ABCNews but there is an activeinvestigation now underway into whathappened so far no charges no arrests inyour opinion what should happen to themen not only who were involved in the

Incident but also to the officers whoresponded to itwithout a doubt that the men whoassaulted myself and the other folksthat we're trying to intervene todeescalate the situation and to save me

I should be swiftly brought to justicewe need to set up question you cannot dothis in America in 2020yes this is something that isreprehensible it's repulsive and it'sthe very worst of all Society as far as

The officers that felt like I wasvictimized twice huhso everyone around me at this point iswhite and I'm from a small town inIndiana so I'm accustomed to that butwhen these officers show up the lead

Officer is completely discourteoushe seems combatant he is accusatory as Idescribed to him that these men willlink to me and I was literally afraidfor my life he lectures me on propertyrights I explained to him that we all we

Warm public property but even if weweren't on public property it stillwouldn't matter that my life had morevalues and property Vox Booker we are sothankful that you did not become ahashtag and we really appreciate your

Time thank you so much thank you hieveryone George Stephanopoulos herethanks for checking out the ABC NewsYouTube channel if you'd like to getmore video show highlights and watchlive event coverage click on the right

Over here to subscribe to our Channeland don't forget to download the ABCNews app for breaking news alerts thanksfor watching

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