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FBI interviews mother of Maumee man charged with driving into crowd

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    A makeshift memorial of flowers and a photo of victim Heather Heyer sits in Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday. Heyer died when a car rammed into a group of people who were protesting the presence of white supremacists who had gathered in the city for a rally.


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    A Lucas County sheriff deputy sits inside a vehicle on the private property of the apartment complex in which Samantha Bloom lives.

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    Samantha Bloom, Mr. Fields’ mother.

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    People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday. The vehicle with Ohio plates is believed to belong to James Fields of Maumee



FBI agents have interviewed the mother of a Maumee man charged with ramming his car into a crowd of protestors at a white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp said Sunday morning.

The FBI contacted Sheriff Tharp to let him know they “were taking the lead in this,” he said. “They contacted me to let me know they were in the area, that they were going to talk to the mother, which they already have. What the conversation was, I don't know.”

VIDEO: The Blade interview with mother of Maumee man accused of plowing into crowd

RELATED: Mother of Fields shocked3 dead in Virginia protests | Trump says ‘no place’ for violence | Rally in support of Charlottesville community in Bowling Green | HS teacher: Fields showed radical ideology

Samantha Bloom told reporters at her Monclova Township apartment Saturday night that she knew her son, James Alex Fields, 20, had gone to an “alt-right” rally but was unaware he'd been arrested for driving into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring at least two dozen others.

Kim Schwarting, spokesman for the Cleveland office of the FBI, could not confirm that agents had spoken with Ms. Bloom. The agency's Richmond, Va. Office was heading the investigation, she said.

“Obviously the guy lives here so we'll be assisting in any way we can assist,” she said.

Lucas County Sheriff deputies Sunday morning were blocking access to reporters and other non-residents into the private drive at the apartment community where Ms. Bloom lived.

Maria Stanton, vice president of property operations for Independence, Ohio-based Redwood Living, Inc., said the company was working with investigators.

“Our focus is to take care of our residents, that's first and foremost,” she said. “We certainly want to cooperate in any way and work with local law enforcement throughout the investigation.”

Other than a May 25 citation for driving on expired plates that Mr. Fields received in Maumee, neither the sheriff's office or Maumee Police have had any contacts with him.

Sheriff Tharp and Maumee Police Sgt. Thomas Hixon said their departments were not aware of any active white supremacist-type groups in the area and said Mr. Fields was not on any kind of watch list to their knowledge.

“I can't imagine that there would be something like that going on that we wouldn't know about,” Sergeant Hixon said. “We're pretty small, and those types of things tend to get out. I'm sure if there was anything like that we'd want all of our officers to be aware of it.”

Contact Jennifer Feehan at jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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