Ahmaud Arbery: Construction site owner never sought killer duo's help despite receiving videos of many intrusions
He said that the intrusions began last October and he never thought they would be important
The property owner of the construction site where 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was spotted in a security camera clip the day he was shot dead, had reportedly received multiple videos of intruders on the site since last year October. It was also revealed that the owner, Larry English, had briefly met one of the suspects in Arbery's killing, Travis McMichael, in the summer of last year.
Father and son duo, 64-year-old Gregory McMichael — a former police officer — and 34-year-old Travis McMichael, shot 25-year-old Arbery dead on February 23 on a street in broad daylight while he was jogging. The pair reportedly suspected him to be a burglar running around the neighborhood. Arbery was shot thrice and was reported dead on the scene. After a video of the assault was recently released on social media, the incident sparked a widespread racial outcry in the country and has led many to question why the suspects were arrested only after the outrage. No arrests were made in the case for over two months.
Shortly after the February 23 security camera footage was revealed last week, showing Arbery roaming around the construction site before leaving empty-handed, another video was also released from the site, taken on February 11. Although a neighbor, Diego Perez, claimed that the person in the video was Arbery, the owner, English, has said he does not believe the person in the clip is Arbery.
English's attorney Beth Graddy, in a statement on Wednesday, May 13, said: "The security camera system transmitted the video shortly after it was captured that night. Mr. English did not recognize the person depicted, and he still does not know who the person is," according to News4Jax. The person in the February 11 clip has not yet been identified by authorities.
English said there were at least four or five instances of him receiving clips of someone entering the construction site, and that the intrusions began last year in October and continued just prior to Arbery's death.
English, who bought the house nearly 90 miles away from the waterside lot along Satilla Drive three years ago, installed motion-activated cameras positioned at multiple points in the house last year. “So we went ahead and had the cameras put up to keep an eye on the house and any kind of traffic from children in the neighborhood,” English said. His attorney added that nothing was taken from the English property ever.
"When motion triggered a camera, it would transmit the captured video to Mr English’s cell phone, which would alert him that he had received a text. Mr English did not save the videos because he did not know they would become important. Videos not saved eventually ‘fall’ out of the system’s queue," Graddy said. "If texted, however, the videos are saved with texts. At this point, the only videos that Mr English has located are the February 11 and February 23 videos. We are attempting to obtain all other videos from the security camera service."
The property owner said that he had not paid much attention to the incidents at the time because he was focused on his treatment for sarcoidosis and was away from the property from December to late April, according to the outlet.
English, however, had met McMichaels before the fatal shooting. According to his lawyer, he met Travis McMichael once last summer when McMichael and his young son passed by the English property.
"Mr McMichael’s son was attracted by the large crane and other machinery that was present for the purpose of installing a dock on the English property. Travis McMichael introduced himself and his little son, and the men spoke for about 15 minutes in what is best described as a neighborly chat about the work on the property, Mr McMichael’s recreational hunting, and Mr English’s recreational fishing," Graddy told the outlet, adding that the property owner never discussed the unauthorized entries at his property with him or shared any videos with him.
Travis' father Gregory also met English in late April. “Gregory McMichaels approached Mr English in late April and asked about the February 11 video. Mr English did not maintain the conversation," Graddy said, adding that he had never told Gregory about the videos either.
The attorney said that English's health has worsened and he is upset and heartbroken about Arbery's death. "Being a parent, there are a lot of changes when you have children and you can sympathize with other parents when they go through something like this, and it’s something that I wouldn’t want to see happen to anybody,” he said.