Gavin McInnes, leader of the pro-men Proud Boys group, said that the eight members wanted by New York City police will surrender for their part in a brawl outside of a Republican club in Manhattan on Oct. 12.
The planned surrender came after one Proud Boys member was arrested on Oct. 18.
The brawl, which police said started after a member of the extremist Antifa group chucked a bottle at the Proud Boys, took place outside the Metropolitan GOP Club on the Upper East Side.
A total of six Antifa members and nine Proud Boys were wanted or already arrested for allegedly participating in the brief brawl, which was broken up by police officers.
McInnes told the New York Times that he was helping arrange the surrender of the members. By Friday night, a second Proud Boys members had been arrested and a lawyer representing at least four of the suspects had called a precinct to work out details of their surrender.
Police sources confirmed that surrender for the other seven Proud Boys members wanted were ongoing, reported the New York Post.
We continue to investigate the violent incident on the UES on Friday night, and need information regarding these persons-of-interest. No complaints have been filed. If you were the victim of a crime, or have information about the incident, please call 1-800-577-TIPS. @NYPDTips pic.twitter.com/IXyUXMkORn
— Chief Dermot F. Shea (@NYPDDetectives) October 15, 2018
Geoffrey Young, 38, the first Proud Boys member arrested, was released on his own recognizance on Friday after being arraigned on two misdemeanors—riot and attempted assault.
Prosecutor Jamie Kleidman said in Manhattan Criminal Court that Young and the others launched a “vicious, unrelenting attack” on Antifa, noting they “kicked, stomped, and punched them.”
John Iannuzzi, Young’s lawyer, said that the Proud Boys were attacked first and that Young “had the opportunity and right to defend himself.” Young told the NYPD that Antifa threw multiple bottles at his group prior to the fight.
The second Proud Boys in custody was identified as John Kinsman, 39, who was charged with riot, attempted gang assault, and possession of a weapon. Kinsman was described by prosecutors as the “single most vicious” of the brawlers, but his lawyer said the charges were too severe and the case had been overtly politicized, reported the Post.
He was held on $25,000 bond.
Three Antifa members were arrested on the night of the fight and identified as Finbarr Slonim, Kai Russo, and Caleb Perkins. The trio was charged after a victim, identified by Newsweek as Paul Miller, was allegedly assaulted by them and seven other Antifa members, apparently prior to the brawl with the Proud Boys.
“They tried to kill me. They were out there for the only purpose: to hurt people,” Miller said, describing his assailants as wearing masks and clad in black and saying they’d stolen his backpack, which contained his credit cards.
Court records said that Perkins, 35, and Slonim, 20, were charged with petit larceny, recklessly causing physical injury, and resisting arrest. Russo, 20, was charged with petit larceny and recklessly causing physical injury.
“We vigorously dispute the allegations,” their lawyer, Moira Meltzer Cohen, told the New York Post.
Three other Antifa members, who have not been identified, are still wanted by the NYPD.
The brawl came after two men who described themselves as anarchists vandalized the Republican club, trying to intimidate club officials from disinviting McInnes.
We continue to investigate the violent incident on the UES on Friday night, and need information regarding these persons-of-interest.
No complaints have been filed. If you were the victim of a crime, or have information about the incident, please call 1-800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/YN2i23TcAg
— NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) October 15, 2018
Proud Boys Investigated
The NYPD also said that an investigation into the Proud Boys, a men’s club established by McInnes that has taken pains to distance themselves from the so-called alt-right, has been launched.
“I’ve said this 1,000 times and I’ll say it 1,000 more: We are a fraternal organization like the Elk’s Lodge. 100 percent of us are Western chauvinists which simply means we all believe the West is the Best. 2nd Degrees and up have to quit porn. 3rd degrees have a tattoo. There are NO racial requirements to be in the Proud Boys … Politically, a good 98 percent of us love [President Donald] Trump but that is not a requirement,” McInnes wrote in a blog post.
John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, told the Times that the Proud Boys were “the subject of a regular criminal investigation.”
While the law sets strict limits for probes into political groups, Miller added, “Violence is violence.”
It’s unclear if a similar investigation was launched against Antifa, the pro-communist group that incorrectly describes itself as anti-facist and promotes violence against anyone conservative or thought to be conservative, as well as law enforcement officials and journalists.
The Proud Boys have said they don’t instigate violence but will fight back against Antifa and similar groups if attacked.
Video footage released of the Oct. 12 brawl appeared to show Antifa members speaking with the Proud Boys, who weren’t initially inside the frame. Only after a black-clad, masked Antifa member chucked an object, identified by the police as a bottle, did the Proud Boys enter the screen as they kicked and punched Antifa, who tried to fight back but were badly beaten.
About a minute later, the groups fled as police officers arrived to break up the fight.