Police: Ex-Mason student person of interest in Charlottesville a - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Police: Ex-Mason student person of interest in Charlottesville assault

Daniel Borden (provided by Mason Schools) Daniel Borden (provided by Mason Schools)
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)?

When he was 13 years old, Daniel Borden called another student at Mason Middle School "Jew boy" because of the size of his nose, according to police records.

The student told police in a written statement Borden belonged to a gang called the Brothers of Confederacy, drew swastikas on his school papers and performed Nazi salutes.

"I think he pulled a knife on me because he thinks I'm Jewish," the boy wrote.

Police in Virginia say Borden, now 19, is a person of interest in their investigation into the beating of a black man captured in a viral photo and video during white supremacist protests that turned deadly there Saturday. 

“When you look at the photos and video, it appears to be him," Charlottesville police Sgt. J.R. Via told The Cincinnati Enquirer. 

Borden has not been charged in the incident. During the nationwide attempt to identify people who marched at the rallies, there have been several instances where social media got it wrong. 

One of his neighbors said that she never saw any problems.

"He's just always been a good boy I really haven't seen in problems from him. He's always been good," Monica Roy said. "I just think he could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time or maybe he got drug into it. I don't think he had any serious involvement and I feel really bad about it."

And while Borden once attended Mason High School, he did not graduate from there and no longer lives in the city, officials have said.

Sgt. Via said the FBI is helping investigate. Attempts to contact Borden have been unsuccessful.

The undertones of anti-Semitism recall what former classmates said of James Alex Fields Jr. They say Fields, who has been arrested and charged with murder, drew swastikas and talked about loving Hitler in middle school.

He is accused of driving his car into a crowd of counter protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday, killing one and injuring 19, shortly after the viral photo in the parking garage was taken.

The 2012 incident in Mason involving Borden came to a head because of a 60-cent cookie.  

Another student went to the bathroom during lunch. He washed his hands when he heard a knife open. He turned around and Borden held the knife up, about three feet away from the other student, according to police records.

Nothing was said.

The student went back to his lunch table where Borden told him to buy him a cookie several times. The student bought his own cookie and when he sat back down, Borden told him he hated the boy.

"Then he said, 'I'm gonna stab you'," the boy wrote in a witness statement. "He ... said this very seriously."

Borden would later tell police he was joking.

Borden was on his way to an already-scheduled detention later that day when school officials searched his locker after the boy reported the lunchroom incident.

In it, officials found a cardboard gum box with marijuana, five lighters, rolling papers and an empty Miller Lite can.

The assistant principal searched him and found a knife in his front pocket. Borden said the items belonged to his brother. The 13-year-old then told the school he had been sober for three months.

Mason police charged Borden with possession of a deadly weapon, a felony, and aggravated menacing, a misdemeanor.

Two years later, he was charged with disorderly conduct for telling other students at Mason High School not to come to school because there was going to be a school shooting.

When social media in Mason and around the country erupted trying to identify the three white men pictured beating a black man in Charlottesville, a Facebook page that appeared to belong to Borden was deleted.

"This is insane that has to be him," a recent Mason graduate tweeted.

Borden's name, on Facebook, was Dan Boc Borden.

Five years earlier, a detective with the Centerville Police Department called Mason police to warn them about graffiti marks of "BOC" and their relation to a gang around the city.

The detective alerted them, according to police records, because a juvenile with the last name Borden had a Mason address. 

Although the video has made Borden's name known across the country, it still not clear where he lives. Centerville police told the Dayton Daily News none of the men in the photo live there.

That's why Charlottesville police say the investigation could be a lengthy one, but they say that won't stop the investigation.

"The video speaks for itself," said Sgt. Via. "It's pretty obvious what happened."

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