The man who organized the Charlottesville white nationalist rally that led to the death of a counterprotester was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly shared the home address of an anti-racism activist online.
Jason Kessler is a conservative blogger who organized the August Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, where 32-year-old Heather Heyer, a counterprotester, was run down by a driver alleged to be a white nationalist.
On Tuesday, Kessler, who was shouted down by angry onlookers at a news conference after Heyer's death, was arrested for allegedly publishing "the name or photograph" of a person "along with such person's primary residence address with the intent to coerce, intimidate or harass," said Miriam Dickler, a spokeswoman for the city of Charlottesville.
The warrant for Kessler's arrest wasn't immediately available for review, and Dickler did not identify the victim. However, Emily Gorcenski, an activist who lives in Charlottesville, said that she filed a complaint against Kessler and that a warrant had been issued.
Gorcenski, who estimated that she was less than 15 feet from Heyer when the latter was killed, said she filed the complaint against Kessler after a Twitter account he controls tweeted out her home address this month. She said police responded to the address after someone falsely reported a person with a gun there.
"He's been targeting me directly or indirectly for quite some time," Gorcenski said in an interview. "This account that is evidently linked to him has led to an actual crime." (A spokeswoman for Charlottesville police said officers responded to an "unfounded" claim of a disorder at the address on Oct. 8.)
Kessler didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but he denied responsibility for the incident on Twitter.
"I've been to the cops and courts probably a dozen times complaining about people posting my address & they don't care," he wrote in one tweet. "But someone alleges that an account I don't run listed their PUBLICLY AVAILABLE address & I'm charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor." He added: "The Communist judiciary in Charlottesville is now charging me with crimes for tweets that OTHER PEOPLE made."
Kessler, who was released on bond, also faces perjury charges related to a January incident in which he assaulted a man in Charlottesville. Kessler initially claimed that the other man was the aggressor before a surveillance tape appeared to show otherwise.
"I'll admit that what I did was not legal," Kessler said after pleading guilty to the assault charge. "I was having a bad day. I've never done anything like this before, and it will never happen again."