New York Police arrested Geoffrey Young, a member of the alt-right group the Proud Boys, Thursday night. It is their first arrest following a viral street brawl between the group and protesters in New York City last weekend.
The arrest follows widespread criticism that NYPD didn’t move quickly enough to arrest Proud Boy members at the scene of the fight, allowing the crowd to disperse. The fight happened outside the Metropolitan Republican Club on the Upper East Side, where Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes had given a speech.
According to NBC News, NYPD charged Young with rioting and attempted assault. He was seen in surveillance footage obtained and shared by the NYPD wearing a black polo shirt with a yellow-striped collar. Other members of the Proud Boys wore the same shirt; it’s been called a “uniform” of the group.
The footage, taken from a security camera, shows three Antifa protesters appearing to initiate contact with the Proud Boys, with one of them hurling a bottle off camera. They’re quickly besieged by a group of Proud Boys, who come charging at them.
According to Gothamist, police officials say they are looking to arrest nine Proud Boys and three Antifa protesters for the brawl. The NYC-based digital news outlet also shared a Medium post from a Muslim woman who claims Young assaulted her at an anti-Islam rally, “March Against Sharia,” in New York last year.
The writer claims Young choked her and slammed her to the ground multiple times, at one point putting his knee to the back of her head while he continued to choke her.
The Proud Boys subscribe to “Western chauvinism”—in which men “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world,” according to Proud Boy Magazine (via Rewire).
Founder McInnes, who also co-founded Vice Magazine, bragged about his law enforcement connections in an episode of his podcast that aired on Sunday. Defending the Proud Boys’ assault on protesters, McInnes said he has “a lot of support in the NYPD and I very much appreciate that, the boys in blue,” he said.
The NYPD denies any connection with the Proud Boys, saying McInnes does not speak for them.