The White nationalist featured in a documentary on the violence in Charlottesville surrendered Wednesday to Virginia authorities after they issued warrants for his arrest, the New York Times reports.
Christopher Cantwell participated in a torch-lit march at the University of Virginia on Aug. 11 and a White supremacist rally the next day, in which a 32-year-old female anti-racism activist was killed.
University of Virginia Police Department issued multiple charges against Cantwell, including two felony counts of illegal use of tear gas and one count of malicious bodily injury by means of a caustic substance. They said in a statement that the charges stem from an incident on the night of the march.
Cantwell told The Times last week that he believes the charges resulted from a photograph showing him pepper-spraying a counterprotester.
“I thought that spraying that guy was the least damaging thing I could do,” he told the newspaper. “In my left hand I had a flashlight. My other option, other than the pepper spray, was to break this guy’s teeth. O.K.? And I didn’t want to do that. I just wanted him to not hurt me.”
Cantwell, 36, portrayed himself in a Vice News documentary, viewed by millions, as a tough guy, spewing violent hatred for Black and Jews. He gained notoriety from the documentary, emerging as a champion of the White supremacy movement.
But after officials issued the warrants, Cantwell posted a video to YouTube in which he whimpered and choked back tears over fear of his arrest.
“I don’t think I did anything wrong,’’ Cantwell told The Times.
SOURCE: New York Times