At least 10 self-identifying members of antifa in San Diego were charged with "violent criminal acts" relating to an incident earlier in 2021.
The defendants "allegedly attempted to obstruct a rally for former President Donald Trump in San Diego on Jan. 9," the charges state.
They sought to take "direct action" against the "Patriot March," according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. "Direct action" refers to "acts of violence such as assault, battery, assault with deadly weapons, arson, and vandalism."
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"Video evidence analysis shows that overwhelmingly the violence in this incident was perpetrated by the antifa affiliates and was not a mutual fray with both sides crossing out of lawful First Amendment expression into riot and violence," said District Attorney Summer Stephan.
At least seven of the alleged perpetrators were arraigned Monday and accused of using items such as flagpoles, sticks, and pepper spray to attack the pro-Trump supporters.
Multiple videos were captured and posted to social media of the violence allegedly carried out by the defendants.
Antifa members can be seen pepper-spraying Trump supporters and throwing objects, including a wooden lawn chair, according to footage posted to Twitter.
Several more altercations between the counter-protestors and others at the Boardwalk.— Sean Carmitchel (@ACatWithNews) January 10, 2021
The counter-protestors shout “Proud Boy Killer,” as several people are chased out of the area. pic.twitter.com/UzczqlREtP
In that same clip, antifa members beat a woman to the ground, where she can be seen covering her face while being stomped and beaten with flagpoles.
Another video captures the moment an antifa member, allegedly Jonathan White, 39, uses high-powered pepper spray to attack a man and his dog. He is charged with conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon, use of tear gas not in self-defense, and animal cruelty, according to court documents.
The case is supposedly the first to use conspiracy charges against the antifa members, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The conspiracy began Jan. 2 when the defendants liked and shared a social media post that called for the counterprotest, "in essence agreeing to take part in the 'direct action.' Others agreed by showing up in Pacific Beach on January 9th, 2021 and participating in the violence," the complaint stated.
White; Luis Francisco Mora, 30; Joseph Austin Gaskins, 21; Faraz Martin Talab, 27; Bryan Rivera, 21; Brian Lightfoot, 25; and Jesse Merel Cannon, 31, were arraigned Monday, according to the District Attorney's Office.
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Alexander Akridge-Jacobs, 31; Christian Martinez, 23; and Samuel Ogden, 24, also face charges, and a $250,000 arrest warrant has been issued for Erich Yach, 37, according to the report.