As they waited for an arrest warrant to be taken out against a Marietta man for his alleged role in a brutal assault more than two weeks ago in Charlottesville, Va., Cobb County police were preparing to pounce.
But Alex Michael Ramos, 33, had a head start of nearly two weeks from the time internet sleuths identified him as a suspect in the attack, caught on video, that left counter-protester DeAndre Harris with a broken wrist and deep head wound.
Finally, on Friday, the warrant was issued.
Three days later, Ramos’ whereabouts are still unknown.
IN-DEPTH: Who is Michael Ramos?
“Last week we believed he was not in Cobb County,” said Cobb police spokesman Dana Pierce.
Last week, Pierce told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the county’s criminal intelligence unit had called Charlottesville Police and the Virginia State Police about Ramos but never heard back.
The delay proved especially frustrating to Harris, 20.
In a statement provided through his attorneys, the aspiring rapper said, if not for the efforts of New York Daily News columnist Shaun King, none of his attackers would even be identified. So far, only one, 18-year-old Daniel Patrick Borden of Hamilton County, Ohio, has been arrested.
Ramos did himself no favors, acknowledging his role in the assault on Harris in a rambling, profane Facebook video he recorded once he returned to Georgia. "Nobody else was protecting us. Yeah, I'm glad I stomped some a** out there," he said. "You hurt my people I guess we hurt you back."
Ramos was once associated with the Georgia Security Force III%, a metro Atlanta-based, right-wing militia. But the leader of that group said Ramos had severed ties and was now affiliated with the Proud Boys -- a “pro-West fraternal organization,” according to founder Gavin McInnes.
The Fraternal Order of Alt Knights (FOAK), which Ramos allegedly joined, is the “tactical defensive arm” of the Proud Boys.
“We don’t fear the fight. We are the fight,” FOAK’s founder said in a social media post announcing the group’s intentions.
Ramos, who has pointed to his Puerto Rican heritage as proof he’s not racist, said in his Facebook video that he went to Charlottesville to fight the “common f***ing enemy ... the radical, f***cking leftists.”
Besides his own public proclamations, little is known about Ramos. Pierce said Cobb police had filed three incident reports on Ramos but only one led to criminal charges. He would not elaborate on the nature of those incidents or the charges brought against Ramos.
The suspect’s last known address was in north Marietta at a home rented by his parents.
It was there, about two years ago, that Ramos’ father died of a heart attack, said neighbor Matt Epperson.
Ramos still has family in the Marietta area and, according to Pierce, “it is alleged that he has connections in southern Georgia.”