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Did an ‘Anti-Fascist’ Stab a Man Over a ‘Neo-Nazi’ Haircut?

Fraud Alert:

CLAIM

An “anti-fascist” stabbed a man in Colorado after mistaking him for a white supremacist because of his haircut.




MOSTLY FALSE

RATING

MOSTLY FALSE

WHAT’S TRUE

Police are investigating a knife attack in Sheridan, Colorado that resulted in a laceration on a man’s hand. The victim said the attacker asked him if a was a “neo-Nazi.”

WHAT’S FALSE

Police say there’s no indication the attacker was an “antifa” or anti-fascist activist.

WHAT’S UNDETERMINED

The suspect is still at large and his motivations are unknown.

ORIGIN

On 16 August 2017, Joshua Witt posted on his personal Facebook page a photograph of a bloody wound on his left hand, the result of being attacked by a man with a pocket knife who apparently assumed he was a neo-Nazi. Since sharing his story with his Facebook friends, the post has gone viral and his story has become the subject of several blog posts and news stories.

Witt said on Facebook he was getting out of his car at a Steak ‘n Shake restaurant in Sheridan, Colorado, when a man approached and asked him if he a neo-Nazi while simultaneously swinging the blade at him. Witt, whose profile identifies him as a U.S. Navy officer, said he threw his hands up in response, which blocked the weapon from hitting his head but resulted in a laceration to his hand that required three stitches. He wrote:

Sooooooo apparently I look like a neo-nazi and got stabbed for it … luckily I put my hands up to stop it so he only stabbed my hand…. please keep in mind there was no conversation between me and this dude I was literally just getting out of my car …

So I went to get a shake after the chiropractor and as I got out of my car all I hear is “you one of them neo-nazi?” As the dude was swinging a small pocket knife over my car door …. then he took off running and I was just sitting there in shock like what the heck dude

I have no tattoos that would indicate anything like that. There is nothing on the car that I am aware of that might suggest it. My head is not shaved

In the days since Witt wrote the post, it has been shared thousands of times and has become the subject of blog posts claiming the person who attacked him was an “anti-fascist.” “Anti-fascists” or “antifa” are often masked, black-clad far-left activists that have gained notoriety in recent months for violently opposing white supremacist rallies in places like Berkeley, California. For example, Breitbart.com reported:

Joshua Witt, 26, was leaving his car to enter a Steak ’n Shake in Sheridan, Colorado, and claims his long-on-top, buzzed-on-the-sides haircut was the reason for the stabbing as a confused anti-fascist accused him of being a neo-Nazi.

Fox News reported a similar story.

We reached out to Witt but have’t yet received a response.

The local police department confirmed they received the call just before 6:30 p.m. local time on 16 August 2017 and are investigating, but don’t have anyone in custody. Sheridan police Commander Bruce Williamson told us they have a suspect description — an African-American man wearing a green shirt and blue jeans. There’s no information indicating the suspect is an antifa activist, Williamson told us.

Witt did not claim during his Facebook conversation about the incident that the man who attacked him was antifa. He said the attack was sudden and the two exchanged no words other than the attacker accusing him of being a “neo-Nazi.” Witt told the New York Post the man may have thought he was a neo-Nazi because of his military-style haircut — hair that is longer on top than on the sides. In conversations about the incident with friends responding to his Facebook post, he said several times he doesn’t know why the man attacked him:

I don’t know what that [man’s] mindset was and I do not hold him accountable for any affiliation or race …. unfortunately there will always be a bad apple in every orchard

Police Chief Mark Campbell told the Denver Post that the attacker ran toward a bike path near the restaurant after the incident and said he suspected he may be a homeless person who has been staying there:

We have a lot folks that are homeless that are kind of getting pushed out of Denver and that is the place he went to. My guess is he is probably one of those people who are living down along the bike path.

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Fact Checker:
Bethania Palma

Published:
Aug 22nd, 2017

Sources:

Kew, Ben. “Stabbing Victim Claims Short Haircut Meant Attacker Believed He Was a Neo-Nazi.”
  Breitbart.com. 20 August 2017.

Pagones, Stephanie. “Man Stabbed After Haircut Gets Him Mistaken for a Neo-Nazi.”
  New York Post. 19 August 2017.

McGhee, Tom. “Denver-Area Police Seek Suspect After Man Reports Stabbing By Someone Who Thought He Was a ‘Neo-Nazi.’”
  Denver Post. 21 August 2017.

Prakash, Nidhi. “This Man Says He Was Mistaken For a Neo-Nazi and Stabbed.”
  BuzzFeed News. 20 August 2017.

Beinart, Peter. “What Trump Gets Wrong About Antifa.”
  The Atlantic. 16 August 2017.

Article source: http://www.snopes.com/antifa-stab-neo-nazi-haircut/