Thursday 22 February 2018

Charlottesville race-hater turns himself in to police

Christopher Cantwell went into hiding fearing for his life. Photo: Reuters
Christopher Cantwell went into hiding fearing for his life. Photo: Reuters

Harriet Alexander

A white supremacist who rose to fame after appearing in a Charlottesville documentary and reprimanding US president Donald Trump for "giving his daughter to a Jew" has handed himself in to police.

Christopher Cantwell (36) was shown in the Vice News documentary calling for an "ethno-state" and saying that the death of Heather Heyer, when a white supremacist drove a car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators, was justified.

"I think that a lot more people are going to die before we're done here," he added.

After 44 million people had watched the documentary, Mr Cantwell went into hiding and said he feared for his life.

He turned himself in to police on Wednesday to face three felony charges in connection with the riots in Virginia.

Mr Cantwell was wanted by University of Virginia police on two counts of the illegal use of tear gas or other gases and one count of malicious bodily injury with a "caustic substance," explosive or fire.

University police issued a brief statement late on Wednesday, saying Mr Cantwell had turned himself in to police in nearby Lynchburg, Virginia and was being held at a regional jail pending transport to Charlottesville.

Contacted by reporters on Tuesday, Mr Cantwell acknowledged that he had pepper-sprayed a counter- demonstrator during an August 11 protest on the campus of the University of Virginia, the day before the Charlottesville rally.

However, he insisted that he was defending himself and said he did it "because my only other option was knocking out his teeth".

Mr Cantwell also said he was looking forward to his day in court.

Irish Independent

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