SWATARA TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — A Harrisburg area man is recovering after being beaten in what he calls a racially motivated attack.
It happened Friday night in the parking lot of the Roadhouse Cafe Bar and Grill in Swatara Township.
Kevin Maxson is known as an activist in the Harrisburg area, but he says he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I never expected when I go out that night that it could’ve been a possibility I wouldn’t have made it home,” Maxson said.
Get daily news, weather, breaking news and alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here
That’s the reality he faced Friday night as a black man, waiting in the parking lot for a white friend to be picked up at the Roadhouse Cafe Bar and Grill.
“A group of maybe 11 to 13 men surrounded us and started yelling racial slurs and telling him he was a traitor and started assaulting us,” Maxson said.
He says he tried deescalating the situation.
“I told him listen, we didn’t want no trouble. I’m trying to make sure my friend gets home safely. I don’t know ya’ll. I don’t have no gripes or agenda with ya’ll,” Maxson said.
But they didn’t listen and left Maxson badly cut and bruised as he tried to fend them off.
“They told us they were Pagans Biker Club. They were from the West Virginia area and they migrated up here,” Maxson said.
Police did eventually show up and Maxson says some of the bikers were arrested that were still lingering in the parking lot.
“Harrisburg and the surrounding areas is no place for that type of violence. It’s no place for racism or bigotry,” Maxson said. “We’re trying to build our communities. We’re trying to unify to make changes for our children.”
He’s brought the incident to the attention of the Attorney General’s office and Swatara Township commissioners.
“I’m not angry. I’m not thinking about lashing out or retaliating. I just want something to be done,” Maxson said. “I want the community leaders, I want the politicians, I want law enforcement to actually be more proactive in this approach before it snowballs and it turns into a bigger issue.”