A Black man and his son were driving through a neighborhood in Texas when they were reportedly ambushed by a white male on horseback who brandished a rope and yelled at them.
James Ragland said he and his son, Judah, had a “terrifying experience” via a Facebook post and claimed the white man presented a “terroristic threat.”
Ragland, a former columnist for the Dallas Morning News, says the incident took place on August 5 and, according to him, he was dropping his son off at a relative’s house in Elysian Fields, just south of Marshall, Texas.
That’s when they came up upon a family on horseback: two children and two adults. As Ragland approached them with his car, one man, who was later identified as Grant Williams, steered his horse directly in their vehicle’s path.
Ragland says the rest of the family passed by his car, but Williams didn’t. He “just stopped in front of our car and glared at us.”
“Then he turned the horse sideways to more completely block the road, and he turned to face us down - I kid you not - like a gunman in the Wild West,” Ragland described, adding that his son and nephew became more nervous as the incident carried on.
“I'm perplexed, but not yet alarmed. But then the guy guides his horse to the driver's side and stops,” Ragland said in his Facebook post. “I glance over and he's just staring me down. I roll the window down, thinking he had something to say, but he just sizes us up. I finally say, ‘Nice horse.’"
'"Thank ya," Williams reportedly said, then he yelled out: "These are Texas roads.” Ragland didn’t know what that meant and asked the man.
After more back-and-forth, the man reached for his side and Ragland believed he was reaching for a gun. This prompted Ragland to speed away while the man was “still yelling and making threatening gestures.”
After Ragland picked his son up and traveled along the same road where they spotted the man, Williams appeared again, and this time according to Ragland, charged “from his property on the north side and runs right out to our car, and for one frightening moment I thought he was going to dart in front of us.”
“But as I sped up to avoid him, he pulled alongside our car and chased us for a mile while yelling and throwing the f**k you sign initially before reaching for something on his right side,” Ragland wrote on Facebook.
Ragland said he believed the man was going to pull a gun on him. He took pictures of Williams on his horse, which had a Confederate flag draped over it, and later contacted the Harrison County Sheriff's Office to report the incident.
An officer from the department assured the father and son they’d take the matter seriously, however in a follow-up Facebook post Ragland says they did not seriously investigate the incident.
“I’ve learned a lot in short order about how injustice manifests itself culturally and institutionally. Since the #HarrisonCountySheriff’s office won’t do its job, I will take other legal steps to protect the public, and hold an untruthful and unrepentant #GrantWilliams accountable,” Ragland wrote.
Authorities from the sheriff’s office say Ragland would have to come to the police station to make an official report, according to Ragland.
See the follow up post below.
Photo: Thomas Barwick