Over the weekend, sparse rallies took place across the country as part of the “March 4 Trump” event. In Berkeley, CA, a familiar scene played out when pro-Trump protesters violently clashed with counter protesters and members of Antifa.
In the end, one Trump protester ended up sprawled on his back — pepper sprayed by what conservatives claimed was a liberal counter protester — and ten people were arrested.
The one scene that caught the attention of alt-right Trump supporters, however, involved a masked man in a grey sweatshirt and protective gear cracking what appeared to be a large stick over the head of a protester.
The altercation was filmed, and the unknown individual became something of a folk hero among alt-right circles, where he was given the nickname “Based Stick Man.” On Twitter, he has already been turned into a meme, and photoshopped into both battle scenes and movie posters.
Based Stick Man, identified as Kyle Sean Chapman, was among those arrested, however. He now faces six charges, five of which are felonies, including: carrying a concealed weapon/dirk or dagger, selling/furnishing tear gas, illegal use of tear gas, assault with a stun gun/less lethal weapon, assault with a deadly weapon (not firearm), and rioting.
He will be arraigned on March 7, 2017 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse.
Meanwhile, pro-Trump figures outraged at his arrest have been working to raise funds for Chapman’s legal defense. Rape apologist Mike Cernovich of Danger and Play referred to Chapman as a “political prisoner” and claimed he was “unlawfully arrested for defending himself and others against a well-funded, well-organized domestic terrorist group.”
Cernovich is pushing for Chapman to be represented by his associate, disgraced attorney Marc Randazza. He also linked to the bounty hunting website WeSearchr, which is currently soliciting donations to Chapman’s legal defense fund. They claim to have raised over $35,000 as of this posting.
After folks at the blog It’s Going Down dug into Chapman’s background, they discovered that Chapman, unsurprisingly, appears to be a white supremacist. According to Chapman’s Facebook page, he is a fan of white nationalist groups including Generation Europa, White News Now, Nordic-Germanic Front, and March of the Titans History of the White Race — the latter of which prominently displays a picture of Adolf Hitler.
Moreover, Chapman’s arrest during the March 4 Trump in Berkeley was not the 41-year-old’s first run-in with the law. Court documents show that Chapman was convicted of a Class C Felony, specifically 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) and 922(g)(2), which make it “unlawful for any person” who “has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” or who “is a fugitive from justice” from shipping, possessing, or receiving firearms and ammunition.
In 2009 Chapman was ultimately sentenced in the Southern District Court of California to “63 months custody and three years supervised release.” During this supervised release, which ended on January 8, 2017, Chapman was not allowed to possess body armor, could not enter Mexico, and could not “frequent any gun trade shows.”
Additionally, it appears that the pepper spray incident that occurred at the March 4 Trump rally in Berkeley — in which an elderly Trump supporter was incapacitated — was the result of Chapman haphazardly spraying the substance at the crowd. A photo of the incident shows the man in question wearing a helmet and carrying a shield and stick identical to other photos of Based Stick Man:
After reaching out to the people at It’s Going Down, they verified that the person using the pepper spray was, in fact, Chapman. Currently, disreputable conspiracy sites such as Zero Hedge are still pinning the blame for this incident on left-wing protesters.
In the end, for all the rhetoric on the alt-right about “right-wing death squads” and “helicopter rides,” it is quite fitting that they’ve adopted Chapman as their new folk hero. After all, Chapman is just a racist schlub playing dress up with a stick and a makeshift shield. Who better to represent today’s crop of white supremacist trolls than him?