- By Christian Boone The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
He’s been hunted for more than two weeks — first by internet sleuths and, since Friday, by law enforcement.
On Tuesday, Alex Michael Ramos, 33, wanted in connection to a brutal assault that occurred during the recent racial unrest in Charlottesville, Va., surrendered to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in middle Georgia. He has waived extradition and will return to Virginia where he faces a charge of malicious wounding punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
MORE: Who is Michael Ramos?
The victim in the Aug. 12, attack, counter-protester DeAndre Harris, sustained a broken wrist and deep head wound. Ramos can be seen on video swinging at the 20-year-old Charlottesville resident, who was on the ground where he was being assaulted by several alleged white supremacists.
Ramos, in an interview with CBS46, insisted he’s no racist.
“I was there because, pretty much, I’m a conservative … there were some non-racist members who were going to a free speech rally,” Ramos said.
He admitted to hitting Harris once but said he entered the fracas in a defensive mode. Ramos offered no apologies and said he turned himself in because he and his family had received multiple death threats.
Ironically, Ramos and Harris agree that much of the blame for the fight getting out of hand belonged to Charlottesville police.
“They’re absolutely, 110 percent at fault,” Ramos told CBS46. “Did nothing to stop it.”
Only one other man tied to Harris’ assault has been arrested. Daniel Patrick Borden, 18, of Hamilton County, Ohio, surrendered to police last Friday.
Charlottesville police have received criticism for the slow pace of their investigation. Harris, in a statement released through his attorney, noted that law enforcement “failed to identify any suspect not independently identified by journalist Shaun King two weeks prior.
“With information including affiliated organizations, clear photographs, and recordings, it is disappointing that the combined efforts of federal and local agencies have failed to lead to either the identification or arrest of additional suspects,” the statement continued.
Ramos put a target on his back by admitting to his role in the attack in a Facebook video he recorded upon his return to Georgia. “Nobody else was protecting us. Yeah, I’m glad I stomped some a** out there,” he said. “You hurt my people I guess we hurt you back.”
Ramos was once associated with the Georgia Security Force III%, a metro Atlanta-based, right-wing militia. But the leader of that group said Ramos had severed ties and was now affiliated with the Proud Boys — a “pro-West fraternal organization,” according to founder Gavin McInnes.
The Fraternal Order of Alt Knights (FOAK), which Ramos allegedly joined, is the “tactical defensive arm” of the Proud Boys.
“We don’t fear the fight. We are the fight,” FOAK’s founder said in a social media post announcing the group’s intentions.