Police Seek Riot Charges In Fight After Proud Boys Speech

October 15, 2018 - 2:54 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/CBS News) -- The NYPD is looking to charge a group of men with riot and attempted assault after violence erupted outside a Republican club on the Upper East Side last week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday blamed President Donald Trump for the brawl outside the Manhattan Republican Club on East 82nd Street and called on the FBI to investigate the known hate group that calls themselves “Proud Boys.”

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, the fighting took place Friday night after a speech by Gavin McInnes, founder of an organization called Proud Boys. The far-right group calls its members “western chauvinists.”

Scooter cops kept the Proud Boys away from a group of masked Antifa protesters, and forced the Proud Boys to walk south in Park Avenue. But Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said half a dozen masked Antifa members went around the block to confront the Proud Boys.

“This is the group of six that had circled the block,” Shea said. “They throw an object believed to be a bottle, and a fight ensues.”

Punches were thrown and a person on the ground was kicked, said police Commissioner James O’Neill.

On Sunday, police released photos of three men recorded kicking and beating a man on the street.

Shea said it didn’t last long until police broke it up.

“I’ll tell you that it’s approximately 38 seconds between when the six dressed in black with masks throw that bottle to when the uniformed officers arrived at the scene with the scooters,” Shea said.

At that point, Shea said, both sides ran away.

Shea said a separate incident occurred several blocks away, where a man flagged down an officer to report that a group of up to 10 people had robbed him. He said he wished to press charges and three people were arrested. Police didn't immediately make clear if those in custody were affiliated with the Proud Boys or the group of protesters.

On Monday, police also released video of the first incident.

“The video images that everybody saw from Friday night are certainly disturbing and outrageous,” O’Neill said. “There’s no place for that kind of disorder anywhere – that violence and disorder – anywhere in New York City, and we are vigorously investigating all leads involving that incident. We will make arrests, but quite frankly, we need the public’s help.”

Shea added, “We will not tolerate any violence on the streets of New York City, and anyone, from any group, who participates in violence will be vigorously investigated.”

McInnes told the Wall Street Journal in an email that the Republican Club event had been “making fun of” liberals and mainstream media. Prior to the event the club had been vandalized by "radical leftists," GOP officials said.

Vandals smashed windows, filled a keypad lock with glue and spray-painted the doors of the Metropolitan Republican Club. A note left at the scene said the damage was "just the beginning."

McInnes also acknowledged that some of his Proud Boys had been involved in the vicious attack afterwards.

Police arrested three protesters for theft and assault on Friday night, but none of the Proud Boys.

O’Neill said if you know anything or were a victim of the incident, you should call (800) 577-TIPS.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. CBS News contributed to this report.)