Travis McMichael Confronted Ahmaud Arbery Weeks Before Fatal Encounter

Sandy Malone

Neighbor Diego Perez said he was there when Travis McMichael said he encountered Ahmaud Arbery on Feb. 11.

Brunswick, GA – A neighbor has come forward to say that the day that Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot wasn’t the first encounter the 25 year old had with Gregory and Travis McMichael.

Neighbor Diego Perez, who lives nearby the home where Arbery was seen on recently released surveillance video, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the first encounter took place on Feb. 11 after the motion sensors at the same house were activated.

Perez said that the security cameras alerted the homeowner, Larry English, who lived two hours away.

The house was under construction and unoccupied, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Perez said English sent the video to him and asked him to check on the property.

So he said he armed himself and set off up the street to English’s house to see what was going on, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Perez said that as he arrived at the house, he spotted 34-year-old Travis McMichael coming from the opposite direction in his truck.

He said Travis McMichael stopped the truck in front of English’s house, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“Travis saw him in the yard and Travis stopped,” Perez said. “He confronted [the man] halfway into the yard. He said [the man] reached for his waistband, and Travis got spooked and went down the road.”

He said Travis McMichael returned a short while later with his father, 64-year-old Gregory McMichael, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Perez said Gregory McMichael said he had called the Glynn County Police Department before he got to the house.

The neighbor said he checked the home under construction carefully but didn’t see where anything had been taken, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Perez said he had given police a description of the vehicle he thought the trespasser had driven.

“All we knew about him was that he was the guy who kept showing up on our cameras,” he said. “No one knew who it was.”

The next time that Perez saw Arbery, the 25 year old was lying dead on the pavement, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

He said that when he arrived at the shooting scene minutes after Travis McMichael and Arbery fought over the rifle, he immediately recognized the man who was down as the same person who had appeared on the surveillance videos at English’s house two weeks earlier.

The police report said the incident on Feb. 23 began when Arbery jogged past the home of Gregory and Travis McMichael, the Associated Press reported.

The McMichaels told police afterwards that they thought Arbery was the suspect in several recent burglaries in the neighborhood, so they armed themselves and followed him, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The men jumped in their pickup truck and followed the 25 year old as he jogged through the neighborhood.

A video, filmed by the McMichaels’ friend, Willian Bryan, who was following in another vehicle, showed Arbery running up the middle of the residential road toward a white pickup truck was stopped ahead of him.

The video showed Arbery ran around the truck and a struggle ensued before he reappeared back in front of it again, engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle for Travis McMichael’s shotgun.

Arbery was shot twice in the chest and died at the scene.

Gregory McMichael told police that Arbery “began to violently attack” his son and then the two men fought over the shotgun.

No arrests were made for more than two months after the shooting, prompting outrage from Arbery’s family and community.

The first two prosecutors assigned to the case had to recuse themselves because of professional conflicts of interest.

However, before she recused herself, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson allegedly told police they couldn’t arrest the McMichaels on the night of the shooting.

“The police at the scene went to her, saying they were ready to arrest both of them,” Glynn County Commissioner Allen Booker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “These were the police at the scene who had done the investigation. She shut them down to protect her friend McMichael.”

Documents obtained by The New York Times revealed that George E. Barnhill, a prosecutor with the Waycross Judicial District who was next assigned to the case, had argued that both McMichaels had acted legally under the Georgia citizen’s arrest and self-defense statutes before he recused himself.

Tom Durden, the third prosecutor assigned to the case, was bombarded with criticism after he said he wanted to convene a grand jury to determine whether the McMichaels should be charged, the Associated Press reported.

But that could not happen for more than a month because the Georgia Supreme Court has prohibited grand juries from meeting until after June 12, The New York Times reported.

Facing intense scrutiny, Durden asked the GBI to assist with the investigation into Arbery’s death, and 48 hours later, both Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested for murder.

The McMichaels remain in the Glynn County Jail, held without bond, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Georgia officials have asked for a federal investigation into the handling of Arbery’s case.

Comments (134)
No. 1-15
Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

911 call from February 11th.

Travis McMichael calls 911 and says he witnessed a Black male run into a vacant house across the street and uses a flashlight to look around.

He reports it as a suspected burglary.

He says the person was hiding behind a bush and port-a-potty, before running into the house.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Press conference held by Travis McMichel's attorneys today...

Starts at 3:25, In the beginning, he does a terrible job. They do better later. Questions begin at 14:00. There is nothing very significant here, other than they promise there is more information coming.

Popcop.M1
Popcop.M1

Interesting to see how this case plays out. Definitely not 1st degree murder I can tell you that from experience. Evidence that he was casing the neighborhood only helps the defendants. Good defense team, don't be surprised if these two get acquitted.

Hannibal
Hannibal

I read somewhere else that there was also an incident caught on security cameras where someone who looked like Arbery had stolen a pistol from a truck. That these two were both in law enforcement and knew Arbery from earlier cases.

Teijeiro2
Teijeiro2

Another Trayvon Martin. I want to know where this guy LIVED? In that neighborhood? I BET NOT. He was no more "jogging" then Trayvon was out buying skittles. THEY WERE BOTH PROFESSIONAL CRIMINALS CASING HOMES TO ROB. LET'S SEE THIS GUY'S CRIMINAL RECORD! And don't tell me that isn't the same guy TRESPASSING in that vacant house!

Shepfershort
Shepfershort

How would anyone, not working on the house, know if anything is missing? I still wonder, who stops their jog to walk onto someone else's property? More here than meets the press.

PPO7150
PPO7150

The homeowner stated that nothing was Burglarized from his property. Forget anything that transpired in the past. The only crime this young man comitted on this day, if any, was Trespassing. For this, ge lost his life, cause they could not wait, observe him & wait for the police to arrive. Tragic events.

Det_John_Kimble
Det_John_Kimble

Bottom line in all this, guy that got shot caused all this, and then when two armed men in the middle of the road confront you after you know you did wrong, and attack the one holding the shotgun, what would you think will happen? Most people don't realize you can hold a felony suspect for the police. Its not always advisable but in most states this is totally legal. The fact that they armed themselves doesn't matter, 2nd amendment gives you that right. The video looks bad until you watch the guy go straight after the one holding the shotgun which it totally nuts.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

After that press conference about the presumption of innocence, I think that a plea bargain is coming. If so, the big question is whether the attorneys can bargain down to manslaughter. It will be interesting if the father flips on the son, or vice versa -- things got awkward when they started talking about the separate representations (although there is nothing too unusual about this)

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Greg McMicael's attorneys had a press conference today...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCQfChszNoY

"There is more than one video of the incident," said Laura Hogue.

"Greg McMichael did not commit murder."

Marxest
Marxest

What happened to the good old days when racist white men would be proud and open with their hatred and racism? Now these racist white men hide behind neutral words and phrases, spouting law and order and fabricated statistics. They even have the Gaul to call non racist people who dare to call them out as "racists". All these closet racist whites who assume the worst of Ahmaud Arbery, never mind that he had never taken stolen anything. Racist whites refuse to believe that two South Georgia racist white men would hunt down and kill a black man and the racist police force and its equally disgusting racist D.A.'s would cover up and whitewash the hate crime murder, going so far as to call Ahmaud Arbery's valiant attempt to defend himself against armed attackers as "aggression". In their racist eyes, a black person can never be a victim if he is murdered by a white man. Then they have the nerve to say they aren't racists. They hate the 'race card', they created the race card! LOL! Its absolutely laughable.

2ezas
2ezas

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Prwrestler
Prwrestler

Ok I get he was in the house under construction. Technically it's burglary. I still don't see a law where neighbors or a hone owner is allowed to chase the burglar. In fact the only reason to shoot a burglar is when they are actively committing the burglary. That's when the home owner has a reasonable fear for bodily harm or death. Once they flee you leave it to the leos. they're no longer threatening their life or property if they take off. I'm not one to protect criminals but they are innocent untill proven guilty. Though he was a potential suspect in the burglaries in the area, They still had no business confronting him. I'm confused to why no police report were found on those burglaries. If everyone goes out an implement vigilante justice then even non criminals who they suspect or profile will have their life at risk.

Golobki
Golobki

But was tje "jogger" wearing his face mask?


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