A Mississippi man was arrested after a video circulated on social media appearing to show him recording himself driving and threatening to hit nine Black children on bicycles, saying “50 points!” and a racial slur as he sped toward the youngsters.
Mark Hall, 49, was arrested Tuesday and charged with nine counts of simple assault enhanced by hate crime, the Tippah County Detention Center told NBC News. He was released Thursday on $45,000 bond, online records show.
On Sunday, Hall allegedly posted the video of himself on Snapchat that appears to show him driving down a street toward the nine Black teenagers on bicycles.
While videos posted to the social media platform disappear after 24 hours, someone screen recorded it and later shared the clip on Facebook, where it quickly went viral.
Jimmy Brooks, the father of two of the nine teenagers in the incident, confirmed the video circulating on Facebook as the one involving his children and Hall.
“Ah, hell, 50 points,” Hall can be heard saying in the footage as he drives into the middle of the group at nearly 40 mph without slowing down or waiting for the children to clear the road.
As he passes them, he laughs and says "stupid" followed by a racial slur.
The Ripley Police Department did not respond to multiple requests for comment regarding the incident.
Police Chief Scott White on Tuesday addressed the incident at Ripley’s regular city meeting, local news outlet Tippah News reported.
Parents of the teenagers involved were outraged that they could’ve been run down.
Brooks said his two children, 15 and 16, were part of the group of nine friends riding their bicycles in Ripley. On Monday, one of his sons brought up the incident to his mother when the video started to gain traction online.
"It messed the rest of my day up. After work, I left and me and (my wife) went straight to the police department to file charges on this man," Brooks told NBC News on Friday.
But he was told by a Ripley police investigator that all the parents needed to press charges together. They did just that Tuesday morning.
“The city said all they could do was simple assault, that’s the only crime that they saw. But a lot of us saw that it was more than that from the video. We were not satisfied with the outcome," Brooks said. He wasn't informed by police that the charges were enhanced.
"The man is out on bond now, walking around, not knowing if he could do it again. Who knows how he’s feeling? He could be a ticking time bomb walking around, with all this stuff going around in the world today. You never know what’s on his mind," he said.
Brooks said his children were shaken after the incident.
"They said they was kind of scared, they didn’t know if there’s other people out there like that or if it’ll happen again. They didn’t know how people felt about it," he said.
Brooks said he is determined to see Hall brought to justice.
“I wish no harm on Hall. I just want justice served to the fullest because nine African American kids were targeted by racism by him and they absolutely did nothing wrong," he said. "They did nothing. They were just out there riding their bikes."
He said no children were injured, but one child's bicycle was clipped and a tire was “messed up.”
Even after the jarring incident, he said, he saw the community come together in support of the teenagers.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars organization in Ripley took all nine teenagers out for a “military ride on the back of their truck” to a Walmart store to buy a new bicycle for the boy whose bike was clipped, Brooks said.
Carmello Thomas, 15, one of the boys depicted in the video, recalled seeing Hall's vehicle move toward him.
“I moved out the way just in time,” he told NBC affiliate WMC-TV of Memphis, Tennessee. “And then he just kept going and I saw him laugh.”
Jaki and Jeremiah Holmes, both 16, were also part of the group and asked for prayers for Hall.
“Pray for him. Be with them. I know what he did was wrong but forgive and forget,” Jeremiah said to the news station.
It's not clear if Hall has an attorney. He could not be reached for comment Thursday or Friday at publicly listed phone numbers for him.
NBC News has reached out to the Tippah County Prosecuting Attorney's Office for comment.