Judge Rick Moore slightly shook his head as he watched a video that showed Alex Michael Ramos assaulting Deandre Harris in the Market Street Garage August 12—and then he denied an appeal to release Ramos on bond, despite an associate of Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler offering to house the Georgia man.
It was Ramos’ third unsuccessful attempt at securing bond since he turned himself in August 28 in Forsyth, Georgia, on a felonious assault charge, and the Charlottesville Circuit Court judge cited the violence of the attack and Ramos’ lack of ties to the area.
“I’ve been in this job a long time,” said Moore. The video “is one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen.”
Attorney John Joyce sought to assuage the court’s concerns about lack of local ties with a plan to house Ramos with a new friend in Fluvanna he met through Kessler. Ramos testified that he’d known the woman a few weeks and had spoken to her a number of times on the phone.
The woman testified that she’d called people in Georgia who knew Ramos before considering letting a total stranger live in her house with her husband and kids, and was reassured that “he has no criminal record,” she said.
She also told the judge she’d seen the video from multiple directions and was not concerned about the alleged assault.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Nina Antony described the August 12 scene in which Harris was on the ground “in the fetal position” being beaten by four men when Ramos, who was not part of that group, sprinted into the garage, jumped over people who were watching the attack to possibly kick and then hit Harris.
She also showed Moore a Facebook post Ramos made after August 12. “He’s bragging about it,” she said.
Joyce acknowledged that his client struck one punch “in an insanely heated situation,” but stressed that Ramos had no criminal history and now has a place to live with a “sympathetic family.”
“He didn’t have a record and it didn’t keep him from doing what he did on the video,” said Moore. “It’s quite alarming.”
Calling the assault “gruesome,” Moore said, “You can’t manufacture local ties to the community by saying, ‘Stay at my house.’”
Moore said Ramos was an unreasonable risk to others and there was an unreasonable risk that he’d appear in court.
“I’ve not seen any remorse at all,” said the judge, who quoted Ramos’ post August 12 Facebook post: “We stomped ass. It was fucking fun. VICTORY!!!”
“He’s really not regretful,” observed Moore in denying the appeal. Ramos’ next court appearance is December 14.