SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — After a tense night of protests in front of the Springfield Public Library Friday, a group of bikers wants to clear the air about what happened to them.
A biker who goes by Rhino said he and his friends were downtown Friday night and were trying to leave the area when they came across the protest.
“Every direction we left, we were stopped, barricaded, nobody asked why we were there and nobody asked us anything," Rhino said.
Protesters that night said they felt hostility by the bikers' presence, but Rhino said they were not there to instigate anything. He said noise coming from he and his friends' bikes wasn't meant to intimidate, but to serve a warning that they were trying to get through A Street.
“We were not down there to cause issues. We went down to see things, protect our community and we were assaulted," Rhino said.
Rhino said hours earlier, he and other bikers were at Willamalane Park supporting a teen who was being bullied for the color of his skin.
“It's not okay. It's completely wrong to bully kids anywhere, definitely not at a park," Rhino said.
Micah Sproston is the teen’s stepfather and he posted on Facebook to try and get a group to address the bullying at the park as well as lift his stepson’s morale.
"He was approached by a couple of people who asked him if he knew what color his skin was," Sproston said.
Rhino and other bikers responded to the call for support. Sproston said he felt overjoyed seeing the community support his son.
"There were 76 of us who came in support and show him we supported him and people of color being able to play at the park," Sproston said.
Rhino said he is all for change, but he said the community just needs to take a step back and not jump to conclusions about someone's character.
"I was at a park previous supporting black children, that's my outtake on it, everybody jumped to conclusions for the way we looked," Rhino said.