Police report a white nationalist who says he pepper-sprayed a demonstrator in self-defense on the campus of the University of Virginia has turned himself in.
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Campus police issued a statement late Wednesday saying Christopher Cantwell of Keene, New Hampshire, was taken into custody at the police department in Lynchburg, Virginia. Cantwell appeared in a documentary by Vice News Tonight that covered the protests in Charlottesville.
Cantwell spoke in a teary YouTube video before his arrest, saying that he doesn't believe it's wise for him "to be going anywhere" with Virginia in a "state of emergency" and said that he is "terrified you're going to kill me."
Cantwell 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.
A brief university police statement says Cantwell was being held at a regional jail in Lynchburg pending transport to Charlottesville. It wasn't immediately known if Cantwell has a lawyer.
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.
Two weeks ago, clashes broke out between white nationalists and counter-protesters in Virginia, resulting in one death and 30 injuries.