A multiracial family on a camping trip was harassed and trapped by individuals who accused them of being members of Antifa, a far-left organization believed by some to be a terrorist group, KCBY-TV reported.
On Wednesday, the unidentified family, described by Peninsula Daily News as a husband and wife, their 16-year-old daughter and the husband’s mother, arrived in their converted school bus in the town of Forks, Washington, to pick up supplies at a local store for their camping trip. As they were leaving, says Sgt. Shaun Minks of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, people in seven or eight vehicles confronted the family and asked them if they belonged to Antifa.
Antifa, short for “anti-fascist,” is a group of far-left individuals that, according to a May CNN report, uses various forms of activism, including alleged violent acts, in order to advance its goals. President Donald Trump has promised to deem them a terrorist organization.
The family responded that they were not affiliated with Antifa and were just in town to go camping. They were then able to leave town and head for their campsite.
“The people in the parking lot repeatedly asked them if they were Antifa protesters. The family told the people they weren’t associated with any such group and were just camping. The family had to drive their bus around vehicles in the parking lot in order to get back onto Highway 101,” reads a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.
At least four vehicles followed them, the family said. They also stated that at least two were carrying what appeared to be semi-automatic weapons.
Once at their campsite, the family became concerned when they heard the sounds of gunshots and chainsaws nearby. They decided to leave, but they found that trees had been felled across the road, preventing them from getting out.
Fortunately for the family, four area teenagers, identified as students from nearby Forks High School, showed up with chainsaws and cleared a path so the family could get away. Meanwhile, the family called 911 for help, and sheriff’s deputies then escorted them away from their campsite and to the police station to be interviewed. When the family’s bus broke down, deputies helped them get it up and running.
The sheriff’s department is conducting an investigation and is asking the public for tips. Further, they’re hoping that surveillance camera footage from the store can help identify any of the individuals accused of harassing the family.