A Georgia man, who is behind bars for allegedly cutting another man with a knife and chasing him from the Williamsburg Pilot Travel Center to the neighboring Walmart, apparently recorded himself chasing the victim, according to his arrest citation.
The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for treatment.
However, the lawyer for the accused says he was merely defending himself and acting in self-defense.
Williamsburg Police Officer Elijah Hunter arrested Nazari Ysriah, 34, of Riverdale, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and charged him with first-degree assault in connection with the incident.
He was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center where he is being held in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond, according to the jail’s website.
Ysriah is expected to be arraigned Monday in Whitley District Court.
The incident began at Pilot and police were notified by dispatchers that the alleged perpetrator was chasing the victim towards Walmart, and that one of the two male subjects was bleeding, according to an arrest citation.
When Hunter arrived at the scene, he observed Ysriah chasing the victim through Walmart’s parking lot with a knife, he wrote on the arrest citation.
Ysriah told police the victim had allegedly scammed him out of some money, and that the victim had grabbed him in a bear hug while some other men grabbed $500 cash from him and ran off, the citation stated.
Several witnesses at Pilot told police that Ysriah chased the victim from between the trucks, and hit the victim knocking him to the ground. Ysriah also allegedly kicked the victim in the head, and when the victim got up, Ysriah cut him with a knife, according to the citation.
Ysriah then allegedly chased the victim with the knife threatening to cut him again, Hunter wrote.
Ysriah allegedly “recorded himself on his cellphone chasing the victim,” the citation stated.
The victim suffered a severe laceration to his left hand, and a cut to the left side of his face. Air Evac. flew the victim to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for treatment.
The victim’s condition is not known.
Ysriah’s attorney, Adam Howard, said late Friday afternoon that his client’s statements to police officers were “absolutely true.”
Howard said he has reviewed video of the incident and talked with individuals, and believes his client was only acting in self-defense.
“Mr. Ysriah was robbed and assaulted by a group that took advantage of him in the parking lot of Pilot. He defended himself, as is his right. Mr. Ysriah did not chase anyone. He followed the man, while videotaping him,” Howard wrote in the statement. “Mr. Ysriah was yelling for bystanders to call the police and that he had been robbed and assaulted. In the course of the video, the ‘alleged victim’ instructs my client that another attacker, who was in possession of his money, fled in another direction, acknowledging that the robbery had taken place. Upon the arrival of Williamsburg police, the ‘alleged victim’ falsely instructs the officers that Mr. Ysriah lost the money gambling. Why this investigation has focused solely upon Mr. Ysriah in light of the abundance of evidence that shows he is the actual victim is puzzling.”
Capt. Eddie Cain assisted with the investigation.