Virginia Police Say White Nationalist From Keene Turned Himself In

Aug 24, 2017

Christopher Cantwell
Credit A still from Vice News "Charlottesville: Race and Terror"

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.

Campus police issued a statement late Wednesday saying Christopher Cantwell of Keene was taken into custody at the police department in Lynchburg, Virginia.

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.