Van Witness: I Never Said Freddie Gray Was Trying to Hurt Himself

Says he fears for his life since his story got out

Saying he feared for his life after his testimony got out, Donta Allen, the prisoner who was inside the police transport van that carried Freddie Gray, came forward Thursday to clarify his account.  

The police report submitted to Baltimore's state attorney Thursday includes the testimony of a prisoner who was in the van at the time of Gray's arrest. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Allen told police that Gray was uninjured when he entered the van, but then he heard him banging around in the van, as if "intentionally trying to injure himself."

"The second prisoner who was picked up said that he didn’t see any harm done to Freddie at all," Commissioner Anthony Batts said. "What he has said is that he heard Freddie thrashing about."

Allen, however, said Thursday that he takes issue with the Washington Post's account, explaining that he did not say Gray was trying to hurt himself. 

"All I did was go straight to the station, but I heard a little banging like he was banging his head,” Allen told WJZ's Mike Schuh Thursday. “And they trying to make it seem like I told them that, I made it like Freddie Gray did that to hisself. Why the [expletive] would he do that to hisself?"

Allen said that he told the same story to homicide, but now felt compelled to come forward to clarify his statement because reports "put my name in a bad state" and he now feared for his life:

“I had two options today right, either come and talk to y’all and get my credibility straight with ya’ll and not get killed by these [expletive] or not tell a true story,” Allen said. “The only reason I’m doing this is because they put my name in a bad state.”

Video via CBS

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