CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An Army veteran shared his story of recovery Thursday after he was beaten up the night violent protesters took over uptown Charlotte.
David Palmer moved to Charlotte to be closer to family after serving seven years in the Army.
Palmer met his sister, Ashley Warwick, on Sept. 21 for dinner at Blackfinn restaurant in the Epicentre. Palmer walked home after dinner and tried to avoid the protesters by taking another route.
“Everybody was on Trade Street, so I went on Fourth (Street) to stay away from it and avoid it, and I guess it did catch up to me,” Palmer said.
He said a group of men walked toward him. According to the police report, the men approached him and said, "You are in the danger zone, white boy," and started to beat him up. Police said they took his baseball cap and cellphone. Palmer said he managed to get away, and ran straight home to his sister.
Palmer said he suffered a damaged eye socket, a broken nose and shattered facial bones.
“(I'm) still getting feeling back to my face, weird nerve sensations, twitches,” Palmer said.
Police arrested Cortney Pinkney and Jamario Simpson, who are facing charges in the attack.
(Cortney Pinkney, Jamario Simpson)
Pinkney is also accused of an assault in the EpiCentre parking deck on the same night.
Surveillance video showed a man being chased by 10 people. They hit, kicked and stripped off his pants as they beat him, investigators said.
Raw video of attack in Epicentre parking deck
Palmer has moved out of Charlotte since the attack. He's continuing to meet with doctors who are focused on his recovery.
He said the community has kept him moving forward. He thanked people Thursday who donated to his GoFundMe, and the first responders who were there that night.
He said he's working through his emotional scars and he hopes Charlotte can do the same.
"Charlotte stay strong, stay positive, keep fighting together. Again, thank you for everything,” Palmer said.
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Cox Media Group