A Colorado man who had alleged that he was stabbed by an anti-fascist black man for having a haircut associated with neo-Nazi groups has been caught in a lie. Authorities discovered that the man was not assaulted but had stabbed himself.
On Aug. 16, Joshua Witt of Colorado announced on social media that he had been targeted and attacked for sporting a high and tight haircut. The Facebook post, which has since been deleted, racked up over 20,000 shares.
"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," Witt wrote.
Witt, 26, alleged that the encounter took place in the parking lot of a Steak 'n Shake in Sheridan, Colorado.
"All I hear is, 'Are you one of them neo-Nazis?' as this dude is swinging a knife up over my car door at me," Witt told the New York Post. "I threw up my hands up and once the knife kind of hit, I dived back into my car and shut the door and watched him run off ... The dude was actually aiming for my head. I was more in shock because I was just getting a milkshake."
Witt asserted that he had no affiliation with the alt-right, neo-Nazis, or the Ku Klux Klan and attributed his supposed assault to national tensions following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On Aug. 12, hundreds of white supremacists staged a so-called "Unite the Right" rally at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where they clashed with anti-fascist and anti-racist counter protesters. The tense standoff turned deadly when alt-right member James Alex Fields Jr. allegedly plowed his vehicle through a crowd of counter protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injured 19 others, according to The Washington Post.
The high and tight hairstyle, a trendy crew cut with a skin fade along the sides, has become increasingly associated with white nationalists following the emergence of the alt-right. Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist organizer, sports the haircut. Long Nguyen, the co-founder of the fashion magazine "Flaunt," asserted that the haircut was being adopted by white supremacists in order to appeal to young men.
"It's really important for them to make inroads into young people's culture, in order to expand their base," Nguyen explained. "It's a lot easier to do that when they're stealing the look of a familiar hipster style."
Witt told Shenandoah law enforcement that it was a black man who had assaulted him, adding that his attacker fled from the parking lot. Police even interviewed a local man in on suspicion for the assault, but became suspicious themselves when they reviewed surveillance footage of the scene and found no suspect fleeing from the scene, KCNC reports.
Video surveillance of a sporting goods store on the scene revealed that Witt had bought a knife shortly before he alleged that he was assaulted. When authorities confronted Witt with the new evidence, he came clean.
"Mr. Witt subsequently admitted to accidentally cutting himself with the knife while parked in his car in front of the sporting goods store and admitted making up the story about being attacked," the Sheridan Police Department said in a statement, according to BuzzFeed.
Witt has been charged with falsely reporting to authorities. He could face up to a $2,650 fine and one year in jail.