Two members of the Proud Boys, a self-identified Western-chauvinist group, were convicted of assault for fighting with members of a leftist group on the streets after an event in New York.
A jury found Maxwell Hare, 27, of Harrisburg, Pa., and John Kinsman, 39, of Morristown, N.J., guilty of attempted gang assault, three charges of attempted assault and rioting.
Hare and Kinsman were among 10 members of the Proud Boys charged after the October street fight. All but three of them pleaded guilty to various charges; one faces trial later.
The brawl took place on Oct. 12, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Members of the Proud Boys left an event at the Metropolitan Republican Club — where the group’s founder, Gavin McInnes, had spoken — and encountered antifascists, or antifa activists, protesting, officials said.
Hare, Kinsman and other members of the Proud Boys taunted the protesters and made threats, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., before being dispersed by police.
Then Hare and Kinsman and other members of their group punched, kicked, elbowed and stomped the antifa activists about a block away, Vance said, before police intervened again.
“As violent extremism rises in America, a Manhattan jury has declared in one voice that New Yorkers will not tolerate mob violence in our own backyard,” Vance said in a statement. “These defendants transformed a quiet, residential street into the site of a battle-royale, kicking and beating four individuals in a brutal act of political violence. I commend my office’s prosecutors and investigators for their diligence in tracking these defendants down, and I thank the NYPD for their partnership in holding them accountable.”
The Proud Boys, one of many right-wing groups to come to the fore in the past few years, has been condemned by organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. Facebook and Instagram banned the group from their services shortly after the October brawl.
The group believes in ending welfare, closing the borders and adhering to traditional gender roles. McInnes long denied that the group was racist in its orientation, before quitting the Proud Boys in the fall as its legal exposure increased.
Prosecutors had shown video that depicted Kinsman body-slamming a protester and kicking him while wearing work boots, according to the Wall Street Journal. Another video showed Hare punching an antifa activist multiple times, the Journal reported. Jack Goldberg and Ronald Paul Hart, attorneys for Hare and Kinsman, had argued that the protesters had started the fight.
Goldberg declined to comment when reached by The Washington Post, and Hart did not respond to a request for comment.