Shenandoah County Virginia
Pastor Leon McCray was at his home on June 1 when he saw two people trying to dump a refrigerator on his property, he recounted during a church service Sunday. When McCray told them to stop, one person proceeded to verbally attack him and the other one went to get three other people.
McCray said that all five people started attacking him verbally and physically. They were “threatening to kill me… telling me that my Black life didn’t matter,” he said. That’s when he felt the need to pull his concealed firearm to save his life, he said. The group of people then left and McCray proceeded to call 9-1-1 for help.
Pastor McCray says that when the cops came, they spoke to the 5 white people. He says he was not given a chance to speak, and was arrested for brandishing a gun. The police ignored him when he asked, “what about the trespassing and the assault?”
Instead, McCray “was handcuffed in front of my assaulters” by an officer who has known him from the community for over 20 years, he said, adding “they waved at me as I go down the road… . Do you know how disturbing that is?
Last Friday, Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter said he was dropping the charge against McCray.
All five were charged with hate crimes and various degrees of assault. Two were charged with assault and battery. Two others were charged with trespassing. They are being held without bond.
- 43-year-old Donny Salyers: Felony abduction, Assault – Hate crime, Assault by mob, Assault and battery
- 26-year-old Dennis Salyers: Felony abduction, Assault – Hate crime, Assault by mob, Assault and battery
- 42-year-old Farrah Salyers: Felony abduction, Assault – Hate crime, Assault by mob
- 57-year-old Christopher Sharp: Felony abduction, Assault – Hate crime, Assault by mob, trespassing
- 26-year-old Amanda Salyers: Assault – Hate crime, Assault by mob, trespassing
Sheriff Timothy Carter apologized to the pastor and said he would likely have pulled a gun under the circumstances.
Two staff supervisors are on unpaid administrative leave while the incident is reviewed.