San Diego, CA – San Diego prosecutors have charged a group of 11 antifa for allegedly conspiring to commit a riot in connection with the violent attacks on pro-President Donald Trump demonstrators in January.
Seven members of the group were arraigned in San Diego Superior Court on Monday, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Three others have been arrested, and a warrant has been issued for an 11th suspect.
The conspiracy to commit a riot case is believed to be the first of its kind used to target antifa, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The suspects, who are “self-identified to be affiliated with Anti-fascists or antifa,” began organizing themselves in Los Angeles and San Diego one week prior to the Jan. 9 pro-Trump “Patriot March” rally in Pacific Beach, prosecutors said in the criminal complaint.
They started out by “liking and sharing” a social media post that went out on Jan. 2, urging for a counterprotest to the rally, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
According to the criminal complaint, they agreed “to take part in the ‘direct action,’” by perpetuating the content of the post, while other members of the group agreed by traveling to Pacific Beach and “participating in the violence” on Jan. 9.
The district attorney’s office defined “direct action” as antifa’s term for “acts of violence such as assault, battery, assault with deadly weapons, arson, and vandalism,” according to FOX News.
Prosecutors said the antifa mob attacked the conservative rallygoers with chairs, glass bottles, flag poles, pepper spray, sticks, and various other items during the melee, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
They also allegedly threw rocks, eggs, and bottles at police and sprayed them with mace before ultimately dispersing, KNSD reported.
A total of 16 victims were identified.
Several violent assaults were captured on video and shared online.
Among those arrested was 39-year-old Jeremy Jonathan White, who allegedly pepper-sprayed a dog and the dog’s owner during the clash, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
In addition to the conspiracy offense, White has also been charged with use of tear gas not in self-defense, assault with a deadly weapon, and animal cruelty.
“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,” San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan said in a press release, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Stephan’s office identified those arraigned on Monday as 31-year-old Jesse Merel Cannon, 25-year-old Brian Lightfoot, 21-year-old Bryan Rivera, 27-year-old Faraz Martin Talab, 21-year-old Joseph Gaskins, 30-year-old Luis Francisco Mora, and White, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The district attorney has also charged 24-year-old Samuel Ogden, 23-year-old Christian Martinez, and 31-year-old Alexander Akridge-Jacobs.
An 11th antifa suspect, 37-year-old Erich Yach, remains on the lamb.
A $250,000 warrant has been issued for his arrest, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.