UVA Police Issue Warrant for White Nationalist Figure Cantwell Over Charlottesville

by Phil Helsel /  / Updated 
Image: Christopher Cantwell
This Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, image made from a video provided by Vice News Tonight shows Christopher Cantwell at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.Vice News Tonight via AP

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The University of Virginia Police Department on Tuesday said it has obtained warrants against Christopher Cantwell, one of the people at a white nationalist/pro-Confederacy rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville last week.

The warrants against Cantwell are for two counts of illegal use of tear gas and one count of "malicious bodily injury by means of any caustic substance or agent," stemming from events on the campus on the evening of Aug. 11, police said, as they urged Cantwell to turn himself in.

Police did not release more details, saying the warrants are part of an ongoing investigation. All the counts in the warrants are felonies, the department said.

Cantwell has been called a leader of right-wing rally and was featured in a Vice News documentary.

A resident of Keene, New Hampshire, according to police, Cantwell was later seen in a video that went viral in which he said he believed a warrant was issued for his arrest, and that he was scared about being killed if he turned himself in.

He said in an email Tuesday that "I intend to turn myself in without undue delay" and was making arrangements. He believes the warrants stem from an incident in which he admitted to using pepper spray against a man, but added "I did so in what I believed to be lawful self defense."

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"I presume this is the accusation because I certainly wasn't running around pepper spraying innocent people, like the communists who attacked us did," Cantwell said in the email.

Cantwell told NBC News in a phone interview last week that he considers himself a white nationalist. He said in that interview "I did not go down there with the intention of violence," but "I came down there prepared for violence because I know that our enemies will attack us which is exactly what happened."

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