A white man in Virginia was arrested this week after he was seen aiming his AR-15 rifle at a group of five black bikers who were parked near his home in Spotsylvania County Sunday evening.
According to a statement from the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Department, Dennis Lee Berry was charged with brandishing a firearm and was released on a $5,000 secured bond. His semi-automatic rifle was also confiscated for evidence.
"Dennis, while standing on his property began pointing an AR15 rifle at the subjects stating that they were trespassing," the department said in its statement about the incident. "Both Dennis and at least one of the individuals called into Emergency Communications for law enforcement to respond. Upon the deputies arrival, the group of men waited at the beginning of the subdivision for Law Enforcement. Both Mr. Berry and the group of individuals recorded the interaction."
The group of bikers had been riding around the area when they pulled into the cul-de-sac that had signage reading 'Private Road No Trespassing.' However, they group said in the video they had not seen the sign.
Brandon Foster, who posted video of the confrontation to his Facebook page, said they had stopped there because three of the bikers in the group used to live in the area.
"We stopped at the end in the cul-de-sac to plan our route home and to stretch," he wrote in a comment under the department's post. "We were there for a few minutes."
The clip begins with Berry pointing the assault rifle at the group, while one of the men explains he used to live in the area.
At least one man can be heard telling Berry that he was a federal officer and that the man would "definitely go to jail for shooting me."
Berry points to a sign near the property that talks about the private drive, but the group repeatedly tells him they did not see any signs.
"Evidently you didn't look hard enough," Berry can be heard telling the group.
On Tuesday, the sheriff's department released a statement saying the bikers were indeed on private property and had missed the "Private Road No Trespassing" sign at the entrance to the neighborhood itself, however, the group was not on Berry's private property.
Virginia law says brandishing a firearm at someone is only allowed "when engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense."
Berry was taken to the Magistrate’s Office where he was released on a $5000.00 unsecured bond. The rifle was seized as evidence in the case.