An alleged Antifa member who calls himself ‘Commander Red’ was arrested by the police as he was on his way to a Black Lives Matter protest armed with a flamethrower.
As The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported, 23-year-old Matthew Banta was accosted by officers who caught him carrying a flamethrower, fireworks, Antifa emblems, and ‘military-grade’ smoke grenades.
The police approached Banta and his group in Green Bay, Wisconsin, after receiving a report from a witness who claimed “a whole bunch of white people with sticks, baseball bats and helmets” were on their way towards the police.
According to WBay.com, one of the members of the group wore military-style gear along with a metal helmet and goggles.
After the police accosted the group of four, Banta allegedly insisted that they were on their way to a BLM protest but denied having any intent to cause trouble.
As the outlet also reported, one of the arresting officers claimed Banta “dropped into the fetal position and began crying” as he was getting arrested.
According to a criminal complaint, Banta is a “violent Antifa member” who “incites violence in otherwise relatively peaceful protests.”
Following the arrest, Banta has been charged with felony bail jumping and obstructing an officer. Previously, the 23-year-old was arrested for “biting and kicking and officer during a protest” and “pointing a loaded gun at a police officer.”
As the Green Bay Police revealed amid the rise of protests in the city, it is “worrisome when people associated with Antifa” come to the city to wreak havoc.
“It’s worrisome when people associated with Antifa come here to Green Bay from out of town for the purpose of protesting here or for the purposes of committing violent acts,” Police Chief Andrew Smith said in an interview with WBay.com.
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