The New York Police Department arrested the first two members of the Proud Boys wanted for their alleged roles in a violent brawl on the streets of Manhattan with a group of antifascist protesters last week.
Geoffrey Young and Jay Kinsman are both charged with riot and attempted assault. Kingsman was also charged with attempted gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
The New York Times reported Friday that Proud Boys leader Gavin McInnes was working with authorities to arrange the surrender of members of the group wanted on charges of riot and attempted assault. NYPD is also investigating the Proud Boys as a group, a senior-law enforcement official told The Daily Beast (as the Times first reported). The Proud Boys are a violent, ultra-nationalist group that has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Twelve people are wanted in connection with the fight between the Proud Boys and antifa following a speech by McInnes at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan. The night before McInnes’s speech, the club was vandalized with spray-painted anarchist symbols on doors and broken windows. Leaflets were also left behind condemning the event. In response, police stationed a 50-person detail of uniformed officers outside the event in an effort to keep the two sides at bay.
The violence took place minutes after officers escorted McInnes and about 60 members of the Proud Boys and other right-wing groups out of the club on Park Avenue and East 84th Street, working to keep them separate from roughly 80 protestors who had gathered outside in opposition to the event.
According to police, the two sides clashed in the middle of block on East 82nd Street when members of the Proud Boys broke away from the escort to fight with six members of antifa, who had circled the block.
Surveillance footage from a nearby building, released by the NYPD, shows protesters hurling a bottle and throwing punches at Proud Boys, who charged at them. The footage along with videos taken by photojournalists Sandi Bachom and Shay Horse show the two sides clashing as antifa members are overcome by the group of Proud Boys, who punch and kick a pair of protesters who lay on the ground.
Police arrested three people from another confrontation outside the club, but did not formally announce an investigation into the other brawl until Saturday.
Prosecutors said at Young’s arraignment he repeatedly kicked one member of antifa.
“Several individuals who were with the Proud Boys ran over to stop this defendant ... this defendant broke free and went back towards that member of antifa to continue to assault him,” said Assistant District Attorney Jamie Kleidman. “We're still investigating additional charges.”
Young was released on his own recognizance after his attorney argued against bail, saying the incident was started by “sanctimonious louts.”
Young, who was apprehended at his home, appeared in a Proud Boys Magazine-produced video called “A conversation on the road to Islamberg” where he said terrorists have the correct interpretation of the Koran. He also predicted European countries would become Islamic and “it’s going to be something like WWII times ten.”
After arraignment, Young and an acquaintance with a shaved head stopped at a halal food cart where Young purchased a bottle of water and Gatorade. He didn't answer when asked if he disliked Muslims.
— With additional reporting by Arun Gupta