Man assaulted during flag protest in Hattiesburg

Hattiesburg, Miss. - A supporter of the state flag filed a complaint with the Hattiesburg Police Department (HPD) on Sunday during a state flag demonstration on campus. The unidentified man said he was allegedly assaulted with pepper spray during the demonstration.

According to HPD’s Spokesperson Lieutenant (Lt.) Latosha Myers-Mitchell officers responded to assist campus police after they were alerted about the situation. “Later that evening an unidentified man filed a complaint with HPD alleging he was assaulted by a woman at about 4:30 p.m. at 118 College Drive” said Lt. Mitchell.

USM Captain Rusty Keyes said, "The individuals involved in the disturbance are neither USM students nor employees.”

FOX 23 interviewed a witness who was at the flag demonstration. DeBorah Simpson drives from the coast every Sunday to protest in front of USM in favor of the flag. According to Simpson she witnessed the unidentified woman assault the unidentified man.

“One of the men from that group walked over to that girl, but we didn’t go with him, and then he was standing there talking to her and then she starts to get animated, you could tell she was upset” said Simpson.

She continued, “ And before we knew it… She maced him and we go [gasp] she maced him like that. And he came back.”

Simpson added, “Good thing he was wearing glasses because he was all maced up.” Simpson and the supporters asked the man what happened. “He said he went back there and said (to the woman) you’re being racist for calling them house slaves and then that’s what happened,” Simpson said.

Mitchell said to officially file the report the unidentified man needs to submit paperwork with the city. “The man will need to bring the affidavit form to municipal court and file the report there” said Mitchell. According to campus police since no students or employees were involved. Currently the case is being handled by HPD.

All eight Mississippi Universities refuse to fly the state flag because it features the controversial confederate flag battle emblem. This has not only sparked controversy but, protest across the state.

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