White nationalist Richard Spencer had finished giving his much maligned speech at the University of Florida, when three of his supporters — 30-year-old William Fears, 28-year-old Colton Fears, and 28-year-old Tyler Tenbrink — drove to a nearby bus stop. According to the Gainesville Sun, one of the three Texas natives shouted “Seig Heil!” at anti-racist protesters gathered at the bus stop.
One of those protesters allegedly hit the car’s rear window with a baton, prompting the three to drive a short distance away before turning around and heading back to the bus stop. Tenbrink then stepped out of the car with a handgun while the other two shouted “I’m going to fucking kill you!” and “Shoot them!”
Tenbrink fired one shot at the victim which missed and struck a building behind him. The three then fled the scene before being pulled over and arrested by Alachua County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Earlier that day, William Fears was quoted by the Sun as saying:
It’s always been socially acceptable to punch a Nazi, to attack people if they have right-wing political leanings. Us coming in and saying we’re taking over your town, we’re starting to push back, we’re starting to want to intimidate back. We want to show our teeth a little bit because, you know, we’re not to be taken lightly. We don’t want violence; we don’t want harm. But at the end of the day, we’re not opposed to defending ourselves.
All three have been charged with attempted murder, while Tenbrink was additionally charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon. Tenbrink’s bond was set at $3 million while William and Colton’s bonds were set at $1 million each.
But theirs are just the latest in a string of high-profile arrests of violent white supremacists.
It was only two months ago that James Fields Jr., a member of the Neo-Nazi group Vanguard America, drove his vehicle into a crowd of protesters during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA. Fields killed one and injured 19 others and is currently incarcerated at the Albemarle Regional Jail.
Other arrests include those of Daniel Borden, Michael Alex Ramos, and Jacob Scott Goodwin for their parking garage assault on a black protester; Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard Richard Preston Wilson for discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school; and alt-right shock jock Christopher Cantwell for pepper spraying two protesters during a torchlit march on UVA.
In addition, several “Unite the Right” organizers have been named as defendants in a federal lawsuit brought on by Charlottesville residents who were injured during “Unite the Right.”
The suit alleges that the defendants “descend[ed] upon the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, in order to terrorize its residents, commit acts of violence, and use the town as a backdrop to showcase for the media and the nation a neo-nationalist agenda.”
The high-profile defendants include Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer, Mike Peinovich, Augustus Invictus, Robert “Azzmador” Ray, Jeff Schoep, Andrew Anglin, Elliot Kline (“Eli Mosley”), Matt Heimbach, and Nathan Damigo. And the complaint includes a treasure trove of evidence that rallygoers were prepared for, if not planning, a violent confrontation.