The mother of the man authorities say rammed a car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, has previously accused him of beating her as well as threatening her with a knife according to police records seen by the Associated Press.

Samantha Bloom, mother of James Fields, told police in 2010 that her son had struck her and locked her in a bathroom when she had told him to stop playing video games, she also said that Fields took medication for his temper.

Bloom, who is disabled and a wheelchair user, also called police in 2011 and said Fields had stood behind her holding a large knife, the records from Florence Police Department in Kentucky show.

Fields was denied bail in a hearing on Monday. He is accused of ramming his car into a crowd of people protesting a white supremacist prescence in Charlottesville over the weekend. Heather Heyer, 32, died in the incident and 19 others were injured.

In an earlier interview, Bloom said that she had believed Fields was going to a pro-Trump rally and claimed not to know it was a white supremacist gathering. She said that she had told him to "be careful" and to rally "peacefully".

Two days after the incident, after intense pressure over vague statements, US President Donald Trump denounced the far-right groups taking part in the weekend's violence. "Racism is evil," he said, "those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."

Members of far-right groups from across America descended on Charlottesville, the home of the University of Virginia, over the weekend, to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.