3 men charged in Charlottesville attacks on counterprotesters
Three men allegedly involved in attacks on counterprotesters at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville earlier this month have been charged with felonies, Charlottesville police said late Saturday. One of the men has been identified as an imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and one of the men is still at large.
Police said 18-year-old Daniel P. Borden of Mason, Ohio, is allegedly part of a group of six men who violently beat a man in a parking garage next to the Charlottesville Police Department on Aug. 12. That man, DeAndre Harris, suffered a broken wrist and a gash to his head which required 10 staples. The attack was captured on video.
Another suspect, Richard W. Preston, 52, is allegedly the man seen on video shot by the American Civil Liberties Union taking out a pistol and firing a round toward a counterprotester who was wielding a flaming can of aerosol. He then turns and walks away. Preston has identified himself to news media as the imperial wizard of the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, based in northern Maryland.
Preston spoke to a reporter in Fort Wayne, Ind., two days after the rally and blamed the violence on the mayor of Charlottesville for reportedly instructing police not to intervene between the white supremacist protesters and the counterprotesters.
Charlottesville and Virginia State police were widely criticized for not making arrests or even taking actions on violence in their presence. State police officers can be seen in the video standing near where Preston fired on the counterprotester, but a state police spokeswoman said troopers did not hear or see the incident due to the noise and chaos.
A woman who had joined the counterprotesters, Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car slammed into a crowd of people. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, has been charged with second-degree murder in that case.
Borden was arrested Friday in Cincinnati and is being held in the Hamilton County jail on a charge of malicious wounding, Charlottesville police said in a news release. Preston was arrested Saturday on a charge of discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, and was being held in the Baltimore County jail, police said.
Police were seeking help finding a third man, Alex Michael Ramos, 33, who also was allegedly involved in the beating of Harris. Ramos is also charged with malicious wounding, Charlottesville police said.
A lawyer for Harris told the New York Times that he credited Shaun King, an activist and columnist for the New York Daily News, with using social media to identify the suspects in Harris’ beating. King offered a reward for information leading to names of those involved in the attacks, and circulated photos and videos on Twitter. The lawyer, S. Lee Merritt, said Ramos was identified after he wrote about the attack on Facebook.
Charlottesville police asked that anyone with information on Ramos’ whereabouts contact them at 434-970-3280.