Hanover man pleads guilty to hateful attack against Black jogger

A white man learns his fate for attacking a black man in Hanover last summer.
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 6:30 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2023 at 6:41 PM EDT
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HANOVER, Va. (WWBT) - 58-year-old Patrick Martin was sentenced to 60 days in jail and mandatory monitoring by CCPs on Tuesday for a hate crime and violating a protective order.

The mandatory monitoring will ensure Martin appropriately takes his schizophrenia medicine, which his attorney says he hasn’t taken since 2013. Martin’s attorney argued that his actions were impacted due to Martin not being on necessary medication for nearly a decade.

On Friday, July 22, 2022, deputies responded to the 8000 block of Vaughan Drive at approximately 5:38 a.m. for an assault call made by Ralph Mills. He reported that he was jogging when another man, Martin, approached him, began yelling at him and threatening him with a knife.

When the police arrived, they found Martin had a pocketknife. He was then taken into custody and transported to Pamunkey Regional Jail, where he was charged with assault.

“I was just being a regular citizen, doing what I’m supposed to do as far as exercise, and he decided he wanted something different, and me being a black man, have pretty much relived what Ahmaud Arbery went through,” the victim, Ralph Mills, explained.

After the unprovoked attack last year, Mills said that Martin, a white man, continued to harass him in public, which is why Mills got a protective order, but he said it didn’t stop him.

Mills tells NBC12 that he was harassed while trying to grocery shop and felt threatened when Martin seemed to have followed him and gestured his fingers in the shape of a knife or gun at Mills while in a parking lot.

“I was actually going into Kroger. That’s when he started using the n-word again towards me,” Mills said.

Mills had only lived in the neighborhood for about a year before he was attacked and said he had never interacted with Martin before that day. Since then, he’s been trying to heal from nearly being murdered.

He told NBC12 that he fell hard when trying to get away from Martin last summer, and because of that, he now has to have multiple surgeries on his shoulders.

“I am still having nightmares from this gentleman. I’m having to look over my shoulder constantly, never knowing if the gentleman is around or his family trying to get revenge,” Mills said as he explained what it’s been like up to the day Martin was convicted.

While in court, the judge noted that Mills was present before two people sitting in front of him turned around multiple times to give him dirty looks.

Although Mills wasn’t alone either, the president of the Hanover NAACP, Patricia Jordan, sat next to Mills during the sentencing.

She told NBC12 the two people who turned to look at Mills were Martin’s parents. Jordan said after the sentencing, she overheard his parents stating to get them away, which prompted Mills’ attorney to motion them to a separate room while the parents exited.

Jordan hopes this conviction will spark a change.

“It is time for us to take a look at ourselves and to reflect and see if we can move together instead of away from each other,” said Jordan.

Mills says he has a message for anyone of color dealing with a hate crime. He says to be patient and not give up because your day of justice will come.