White nationalist Christopher Cantwell turned himself into police Wednesday to face felony charges stemming from a deadly rally organized by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Cantwell, who was featured in a Vice News documentary about the rally, surrendered to authorities in nearby Lynchburg, Virginia.
He was wanted by University of Virginia police in Charlottesville on three felony charges: two counts of the illegal use of tear gas or other gases and one count of malicious bodily injury.
Cantwell acknowledged to the Associated Press on Tuesday that he pepper-sprayed a counter-protester during a demonstration on the University of Virginia campus one day before the rally. Cantwell, a resident from the northeastern state of New Hampshire, maintained he was defending himself.
“My only option was kicking out his teeth,” he said.
Cantwell and scores of others marched through the campus on August 11 carrying torches and chanting slogans such as “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil,” an English translation of a Nazi slogan that means only blood descent entitles citizenship of a nation.
During the August 12 “United the Right” rally, violence erupted in downtown Charlottesville between white nationalists and counter-protesters. Thirty-two year old Heather Heyer was killed when a motorist associated with the white nationalist protesters plowed his vehicle into a crowd of people. The driver, James Fields Jr., is facing second-degree murder charges.