Pittsburgh, PA – Police have arrested three Black Lives Matter protesters who were caught on video accosting diners at restaurants along the path of a march and assaulting the black manager of a McDonald’s.
The incidents occurred over Labor Day weekend and the videos of their confrontations went wildly viral on social media, WPXI reported.
One of the more controversial altercations happened in front of the two-story Italian eatery Sienna Mercado on Penn Avenue as diners attempted to eat their meals at tables on the sidewalk.
Video showed a man – later identified by police as Kenneth McDowell – screaming at restaurant patrons through a megaphone as other protesters infiltrated the sidewalk seating.
Some of the diners in the video got up immediately when the protesters got close, but some of them stayed seated to eat and McDowell hurled obscenities and insults at them through the loudspeaker.
In the video, a man identified by police as Shawn Green, approached a table occupied by two elderly white people and began screaming at them.
“F–k 12, and f–k the white people who built this system against mine, you old d–k,” Green screamed at the couple in the video.
Then he proceeded up to the restaurant and began screaming through the open window at diners, WPXI reported.
Then the same couple who had been accosted by Green became the target of Monique Craft.
Video showed Craft, wearing a “Nazi Lives Don’t Matter” shirt, marched up to the elderly couples table and without saying a word, took a beverage off the table and drank it.
The couple refused to engage with Craft, who was cheered on by other protesters.
The video showed Craft put the empty glass on the table and stomped away, but Green stayed behind to heckle the elderly couple some more and scream at other diners.
Craft later told police that the couple had invited her over to have a beer and discuss the issues, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
“So, being a theatrical, snarky type of person that I am, I said that I don’t have time to wait for you to order another beer; I will take the one you have,” she explained. “Even though people [at the restaurant] saw that whole thing, they still saw me as an aggressor.”
The video of the incident showed the Craft was in fact the aggressor and that she had appeared very threatening in the moment.
— Rob O'Donnell (@odonnell_r) September 7, 2020
Glass could be heard smashing on the pavement throughout the video of the assault on the restaurant diners.
The video showed some protesters marched through the eating area, sweeping dishes to the ground with their hands as they passed.
Other protesters stood between tables dancing to the rhythm of the group’s chants.
Green disputed what was shown in the video, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
“We don’t target businesses,” Green, who calls himself Lorenzo Rulli, claimed. “Our restaurant industry in the city supports us very much. We were talking to people that were talking to us. The beer that was consumed was an offer. The glass that fell was a mistake.”
He defended his actions against the people who were eating lunch and minding their own business when they were accosted by members of the mob.
“The reason I engaged the individual man and his wife is because… her husband called me ‘an embarrassment’ and ‘disgusting,’” Green complained.
The terrifying threesome of McDowell, Green, and Craft could also be seen in a video filmed later the same day in a McDonald’s in downtown Pittsburgh.
The video showed protesters screaming at McDonald’s employees behind the counter.
Then McDowell, in the bright pink shirt, got right into the face of the restaurant’s manager, who is black.
The video showed people holding McDowell back as he screamed at the McDonald’s manager with no mask on.
McDowell placed himself so that the manager could not get past him to get behind the counter and video showed he actively blocked the manager by pressing his body up against his.
Meanwhile, another irate protester began screaming that the manager had assaulted her when he bumped against her after being pushed by McDowell and other protesters.
So her friends turned their wrath on the manager as well.
“Do it, do it! Put your body on one of my friends,” Craft screamed at the manager, advancing on him.
The video showed the manager backed away from his aggressors, to the other end of the counter, and then boosted himself up and over, away from them.
Craft was filming behind the counter and screaming at the manager when the video ended.
Black Lives Matter protesters assaulted a black store manager in Pittsburgh, PA after mobbing his McDonald's. pic.twitter.com/tigzxJfsuW
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 7, 2020
Police later arrested all three protesters in connection with both incidents.
McDowell was arrested and charged with possessing instruments of crime, disorderly conduct, and harassment, WPXI reported.
Green was arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.
Craft was arrested and charged with theft by unlawful taking and disorderly conduct, according to WPXI.
Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich called the behavior of the protesters unacceptable, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
“People have the right to dine in public without being accosted and without vulgarities being thrown at them,” Hissrich said.
“What we saw this weekend was assault and battery,” the public safety director said. “It was embarrassing. The vast majority of the protests in Pittsburgh have been peaceful, but this weekend was anything but peaceful.”