NH White Nationalist, Wanted In Charlottesville Violence, Turns Self In To VA Police

KEENE, New Hampshire (CBS) — Virginia Police say a New Hampshire white nationalist has turned himself in after he says he pepper-sprayed a counter-demonstrator in self-defense at the violent Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally.

Christopher Cantwell, who lives in Keene, New Hampshire, was wanted on three felony charges: two counts of the illegal use of tear gas or other gases and one count of malicious bodily injury with a “caustic substance,” explosive or fire.

cantwell NH White Nationalist, Wanted In Charlottesville Violence, Turns Self In To VA Police

Christopher Cantwell.
(University of Virginia Police Department)

The incident happened the day before the deadly Charlottesville demonstrations, which left anti-fascist protester Heather Hayer dead and 19 others injured.

Contacted Tuesday by The Associated Press, Cantwell acknowledged he had pepper-sprayed a counter demonstrator during an Aug. 11 protest, a day before a deadly demonstration in Charlottesville. He insisted he was defending himself, saying he did it “because my only other option was knocking out his teeth.” He said he looked forward to his day in court.

charlottesville NH White Nationalist, Wanted In Charlottesville Violence, Turns Self In To VA Police

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the ‘alt-right’ clash with counter-protesters as they enter Lee Park during the ‘Unite the Right’ rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

University of Virginia Police said Cantwell appeared before a judge in Albemarle County General District Court Thursday morning, where he was denied bond.

He’ll stay in custody at Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail until he’s back in court on October 12.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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