Social media connects Ohio to Charlottesville attack - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Social media connects Ohio to Charlottesville attack

White nationalist demonstrators use shields as they clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)? White nationalist demonstrators use shields as they clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)?
FOX19 -

People who attended the protests in Charlottesville over the weekend are being called out on social media. 

Commenters are attempting to identify the participants and, in one case, apparently recognized a former Mason High School student among the violence. 

A photo, taken by photographer Zach Roberts, shows three white men beat a black man in a parking garage following the clash between attendees of a white nationalist rally and counter-protesters. The apparent attackers are wielding sticks and one is wearing a white helmet. 

The Mason Police department received numerous calls as some people ID'd the man in the helmet as a former Mason student, according to our partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer. 

This could mark a second Tri-State connection to the attack. Authorities say 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., a Florence, KY native, rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, leaving one woman dead. 

Activists have attempted to crowdsource information and bring the individuals involved in the white supremacist rallies into disrepute. A man in California was reportedly fired from his job after social media users outed him as a participant. 

The internet vigilantes have also misidentified at least one of the protesters. 

The Mason student's identity has not been confirmed by officials. Deandre Harris has been identified by several media outlets as the man being beaten in the parking garage. 

Charlottesville spokesperson Miriam Dickler said no arrest have been made in Harris' case. FOX19 NOW has reached out to Virginia State Police, Charlottesville Police and the FBI about any arrests or investigations connected with the photo. 

Clearcreek Township Police said the man identified by online activists had moved from Mason to the Centerville area. 

A Mason school spokesperson confirmed the man in the photo was once a student. 

"One of the reasons our community is such a thriving, vibrant place is because of the diversity of our neighbors. It is hard to reconcile that several Ohioans appear to have been part of the horrific violence that occurred in Charlottesville over the weekend," read a statement from Mason schools. "Our students and their families deserve to know that we are allies in the fight against bigotry. As we begin a new school year tomorrow, it is a good time to recommit ourselves to spreading kindness, and to being a light in the world." 

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