On Tuesday, a 27-year-old Virginia man was found not guilty by reason of insanity after he dragged a Black woman from her vehicle and threatened to kill her while verbally attacking her using racial slurs.
Last May, the man, identified as Matthew Ellis, drove up to the Black woman’s car and started screaming at her. When she tried to get away from Ellis, he pursued her and slammed into her back bumper. After ramming into her, Ellis opened the Black woman’s car door and pulled her out by her ankles. During the attack, Ellis in no uncertain words threatened to take her life.
The woman managed to escape from Ellis and ran into a building close by, where two men held Ellis back after he tried to chase her down. While he was restrained, Ellis continued to hurl racial slurs at the woman. When police got to the scene, Ellis did not stop his racially-charged verbal attack. He even spit on the officers for attempting to defuse the situation. When one officer asked Ellis if he assaulted the woman because she Black, he firmly answered “yes.”
The list of charges brought against Ellis include a hate crime, kidnapping, abduction and assaulting a police officer were dropped at the advisory of two clinical psychologists who determined that the racially-motivated attack was a “manic episode with psychotic features.”
Ellis will receive an evaluation at the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. He will remain in their care until he is deemed fit for release back into the public.
Just days before the attack, Ellis’ family had begged him to get psychiatric help. According to his attorney, Ellis accused him of being an “impostor lawyer sent to further the conspiracy and injustice the defendant believes is being perpetrated against him.”
Since taking the prescribed medication, Ellis’ attorney says he has stabilized. To him, this indicates that he’s “no some violent racist.”