Ahmaud Arbery murder suspect had previous neighborhood confrontation

Witness alleges that Travis McMichael was 'spooked' because a man he believes was Arbery reached for his waistband; ran to get his father

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it is possible that Travis McMichael had a previous confrontation with Ahmaud Arbery before his death.

The McMichael and his father were arrested last week and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault against Arbery.

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In the report, a neighbor in the Satilla Shores neighborhood named Diego Perez says that he had been keeping an eye on Larry English‘s home while it was under construction.

Perez told the AJC that on Feb. 11, a motion-sensor security camera video in the construction site “pinged” the property owner who lives two hours away. English texted the video to Perez who lives near the construction site.

Perez said that he was armed as he approached the site that night and that Travis McMichael pulled up and accompanied him toward the house.

Ahmaud Arbery

Perez told the newspaper, “Travis saw him in the yard and Travis stopped,” he says, “He confronted (the man) halfway into the yard. He said (the man) reached for his waistband, and Travis got spooked and went down the road.”

He went on to say that Travis went to get his father, Gregory McMichael.

Perez stated that the two returned to the construction site, but no one was present when they came back. Still, it was noted, that they recognized the young man peeking around the property because he had been in other security camera videos at the construction site in the months before.

The neighbor also said that police were called to the scene and there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

“All we knew about him was that he was the guy who kept showing up on our cameras,” Perez said. “No one knew who it was.”

It has not been confirmed by Glynn County Police or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that it was Arbery that they encountered on Feb. 11, but Perez said that he was the man who he saw on that night. According to the report, the neighbor has given his statement to the GBI.

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Both McMichael men have been recently arrested for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. The father, Gregory, is a former officer who has ties to local law enforcement.

Though the killing happened in February, the local authorities were slow to make an arrest in this case, which is likely because of the professional relationship the local law enforcement has with the family.