San Antonio – Videos of the violence and destruction taking place in downtown San Antonio during the overnight protests were quick to spread on social media.
However, among those videos there were also rays of hope through individuals who were trying to put a stop to the violence.
Jason Pabon was there filming the events as they unfolded and posted them to his social media accounts. He felt several people in the crowd just wanted an excuse to start trouble.
One of those tense moments was when a white man was attacked by a mob while trying to stop the crowds from vandalizing buildings.
“He was like, ‘Just quit it, someone owns this. They aren’t the people to try and go after,'” he said.
Pabon said the man was attacked several times through the night.
There were also videos like the one shared by Antonio Lee, where he tried to make amends with a business owner, located in the 300 block of Presa.
“I wanted to be there to show a different point of view. I’m on nobody’s side, but I do know right from wrong,” he said.
He pleaded for the community then and now to help support those impacted by the vandalism and even to start fundraising pages for those impacted.
“It hurts me to see how hateful people can really be, like these small businesses. What do they gotta do with what happened?" Lee said.
Business owner Daniel Rivera said his windows were broken and he’s about a week from opening, once repairs are made. But, he didn’t have insurance.
He said following that video, several people have reached out to help him, but he doesn’t want people to donate to any GoFundMe accounts on his behalf for the time being.
“I think that he was doing a good thing by trying to get people on film that was doing malicious things,” Rivera said of Lee. “And helping out and supporting local businesses. He showed a lot of compassion.”
The experience has moved Lee to start a group to help those impacted by the vandalism and spread a more positive message, called Young Ambitious Activist.
There’s also continued concern for the man attacked by the group of people. Lee said he saw him in the crowd and would like to know if he made it home safe.