White Supremacists Arrested on Charlottesville Riot Charges

The leader of a Southern California white supremacist group and two other members were arrested on charges of inciting a deadly riot in Charlottesville, Va., last year, prosecutors said Wednesday. 

Other group members were indicted in Virginia on similar charges weeks ago. 

Rise Above Movement leader Robert Rundo was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport and was denied bail in Los Angeles federal court on Wednesday, U.S. attorney’s office spokesman Thom Mrozek said. 

Two others, Robert Boman and Tyler Laube, were arrested Wednesday morning and Aaron Eason remains at large, Mrozek said. All four were charged with traveling to incite or participate in riots. Attorney information for the defendants could not immediately be found.  

The men allegedly took actions with the “intent to incite, organize, promote, encourage, participate in or carry on riots” last year in Charlottesville and in the California cities of Huntington Beach, Berkeley and San Bernardino, according to a complaint from the U.S. attorney’s office.  

“RAM members violently attacked and assaulted counterprotesters at each of these events,” the complaint said.  

Prosecutors have described the Rise Above Movement as a militant white supremacist group that espouses anti-Semitic and other racist views and meets regularly to train in boxing and other fighting techniques.  

The latest arrests came weeks after the indictments of four other California members of RAM for allegedly inciting the Virginia riot.  

Torch-bearing protesters

In August 2017, they made their way to the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville with their hands taped, “ready to do street battle,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen said at a press conference announcing the charges earlier this month. 

Hundreds of white nationalists descended on Charlottesville in part to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.  

Clashes erupted Aug. 11 as a crowd of white nationalists marching through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches and chanting racist slogans encountered a small group of counterprotesters.  

The next day, more violence broke out between counterprotesters and attendees of the “Unite the Right” rally, which was believed to be the largest gathering of U.S. white nationalists in at least a decade. Street fighting exploded before the scheduled event could begin and went on for nearly an hour in view of police until authorities forced the crowd to disperse.  

After authorities forced the rally to disband Aug. 12, Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters.  

The death toll rose to three when a state police helicopter that had been monitoring the event crashed, killing two troopers. 

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