The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia has charged two men – two Proud Boys members, Zachery Coles and John Rieser – with allegedly participating in a Proud Boys demonstration with the car driver allegedly involved in a car attack on protesters on Jan. 6.
One of the Proud Boys, Coles, allegedly led a “violent group of male impersonators” in the march. Proud Boys were arrested in and around the Washington DC area early Wednesday morning, the news agency reports.
Two men face federal hate crime charges in DC for alleged harassment in connection with attack on peaceful protestors on the National Mall, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia (@DC_Attorney) February 14, 2018
Prosecutors allege Coles and Rieser led the group, which was marching with a truck that reportedly engaged in a race against another truck that drove in reverse out of sight to avoid attack. After that, they allegedly attacked another group of demonstrators who were demonstrating for the inauguration of the Trump administration.
The two men have been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, felony rioting, conspiracy and hate crime charges.
“Coles and Rieser were allegedly members of the Proud Boys, a self-proclaimed paramilitary organization that brags of having chapters in several states, and about being ‘on the front lines of our resistance,’ especially toward anti-Semites,” said U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu said in a statement.
Proud Boys members allegedly cornered the left-wing protestors who were demonstrating against the election of President Donald Trump with slogans they chanted during the march including “hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” and “England’s got hate, California’s got love, America’s got fear.”
After the incident, police arrested the two individuals and charged them with misdemeanor assault and battery, among other charges. The two men are still in jail.
It is believed to be the first incident against members of the group since they were photographed and shown fighting with a group of women in downtown Toronto in January.
The group was invited to the NYC Women’s March in January as a sponsor, but some left-wing activists associated with the group distanced themselves from the white supremacist group after attendees were videotaped attacking women.
The Proud Boys were founded in 2016 as an informal “alt-right” group to be pro-white, anti-establishment and anti-feminist.