HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The Henrico (Virginia) Commonwealth's Attorney said a hate crime investigation was underway against the self-proclaimed president of the Virginia KKK.
Harry Rogers appeared in Henrico Court Monday morning where he agreed to receive a court-appointed attorney.
Rogers, 36, of Hanover, Virginia, was formally charged with attempted malicious wounding (felony), destruction of property (felony), and assault and battery (misdemeanor) after police said he drove his pickup truck into a group of protesters Sunday in Lakeside.
The destruction of property charged stemmed from a bicycle damaged during the ordeal.
A Henrico judge denied Rogers' bond during Monday's hearing.
“Several witnesses reported that a vehicle revved their engine and drove through the protesters occupying the roadway,” a Henrico Police spokesperson said of the incident on Lakeside Avenue near Vale Street.
No one was seriously injured physically.
The person who called police was checked by rescue at the scene and refused further treatment.
The protest was part of the Black Lives Matter marches that have taken place around Virginia and the nation following the Memorial Day death of George Floyd.
In court Monday, the Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney said Rogers told arresting officers he was the president of the Ku Klux Klan in Virginia and the highest-ranking member not imprisoned.
“The accused, by his own admission and by a cursory glance at social media, is an admitted leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a propagandist for Confederate ideology,” Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor said in a statement released after court. “We are investigating whether hate crimes charges are appropriate.”
Rogers admitted he had ties to the KKK, but denied telling police he was the president and questioned his arrest.
He stated he revved his engine and drove on the median to escape the protest.
Taylor called his actions "heinous and despicable."
"We will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” she said. “We lived through this in Virginia in Charlottesville in 2017. I promise Henricoans that this egregious criminal act will not go unpunished. Hate has no place here under my watch.”
Rogers is due back in court in August.