A Ripley man has been arrested and is being charged for assaulting a group of nine Black teenagers after a video he posted online revealed that he tried to run over the minors.
In the Facebook story video, Mark Hall can be seen in the driver’s seat of his vehicle, driving toward the teens on bicycles, shouting racial slurs at them, and saying “50 points,” in reference to a hypothetical reward for hitting the youth.
The teens were forced to rush out of the way with one of the victim’s bikes being struck by Hall’s vehicle. According to 15-year-old Carmello Thomas, he saw Hall laughing after running the teens down.
“I moved out the way just in time,” Thomas said to WMC. “And then he just kept going and I saw him laugh.”
Several of the teens’ parents showed up at Ripley’s City Hall on Monday to voice their concerns and to file charges against Hall.
Hall has been charged with nine counts of simple assault and is being held on a $45,000 bond. The Tippah County Sheriff’s Office says the charges are enhanced due to the actions and language allegedly used toward the teens. The department has also reached out to federal officials regarding this case.
While Hall’s actions startled the teens and the community as a whole, one of the victims, 16-year-old Jeremiah Holmes wanted to let the public know that he has no ill will against the man.
“Pray and ask the Lord to forgive him. Pray for him. Be with them. I know what he did was wrong but forgive and forget,” said Holmes.