Matthew Heimbach, who came to national attention in 2016 for shoving a black woman at a campaign rally for Donald Trump, was arrested Tuesday and accused of attacking his wife and choking his white nationalist group’s co-founder unconscious after the pair caught Heimbach having an affair in a trailer, authorities said.
Heimbach helped launch the Traditionalist Worker Party years ago and has been involved in organizing white separatist, supremacist and nationalist events around the country. Heimbach, who is in his mid-20s, is “the affable, youthful face of hate in America,” an editor for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog told The Washington Post.
His desire for a United States split into separate racial states has lost Heimbach many friends, The Washington Post’s Joe Heim wrote after the Trump rally incident. He’s been excommunicated from his church and clashed with his parents — and last week was seen brawling with protesters at a white nationalist event at Michigan State University.
On the other hand, Heimbach has been close to his wife, her stepfather and the stepfather’s wife — all of whom are listed as “white nationalists” in a police report obtained by the SPLC.
In fact, Heimbach’s stepfather-in-law, 35-year-old Matt Parrott, co-founded the Traditionalist Worker Party with him.
But recently, police wrote, Parrott and his stepdaughter (Heimbach’s wife) became suspicious that Heimbach was having an affair with Parrott’s wife, Jessica Parrott, 31.
On Monday night, police wrote, Heimbach’s wife and stepfather-in-law “made a plan to ‘set up’ Matthew Heimbach to see if Matthew would in fact attempt to sleep with Jessica.”
The plan apparently worked — to a point. Matt Parrott and his stepdaughter watched from a window outside a trailer on his property in rural Paoli, Ind., that night, while Heimbach and Jessica Parrott rendezvoused inside, the police report said.
Heimbach’s wife recorded evidence of the tryst, according to the report, then got scared and ran away. Matt Parrott “stayed behind watching the encounter on a box through the window.”
“While doing this the box broke,” the reported continued.
Matt Parrott then ran around the trailer to confront his wife and stepson-in-law. He told Heimbach to get off his property.
When Heimbach wouldn’t leave, Parrott poked his chest, the report states.
Heimbach then grabbed and twisted Parrott’s hand, got behind him and “choked him out” with his arm, according to the report.
Parrott said he briefly lost consciousness, woke up and fled the trailer to a nearby house.
He told police that Heimbach followed and that he threw a chair at Heimbach to ward him off.
But the younger man once again got behind Parrott and choked him until he passed out, the report states.
Upon waking a second time, Parrott told police, he heard his wife tell Heimbach to track down his own wife to obtain the recording of their affair.
At that point, Matt Parrott and a child from the home fled to a nearby Walmart, where Paoli police met him around 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Police could see marks on Parrott’s neck, and left to find Heimbach arguing with his wife at another property, the report states.
Heimbach’s wife — who is not named in the report — told police that her husband “demanded that I tell the cops to leave,” kicked a wall, grabbed her face and threw her face-first into a bed, according to the report
Heimbach was arrested and charged with assaulting his wife and Parrott.
The arrest puts him at risk of serving jail time — not just for this week’s incident but also because he received a suspended sentence after shoving a protester at the Trump rally in Louisville in the spring of 2016.
In video footage of that confrontation that went viral, he wore a “Make America Great Again” hat, yelled at a 21-year-old university student and shoved her twice through the crowd — until the crowd began to shove her, as well.
Heimbach acknowledged that he pushed her and later wrote online: “White Americans are getting fed up and they’re learning that they must either push back or be pushed down.”
He pleaded guilty in July 2017 to disorderly conduct at the rally, according to the SPLC — with jail time suspended on the condition that he not be charged with another crime for two years.
The woman he pushed, Kashiya Nwanguma, joined other protesters at the rally and sued Trump, alleging he incited a riot. Heimbach was named in the suit.
In turn, he argued to the court that Trump essentially ordered violence against protesters by repeatedly urging the crowd to “get them out.” The case has not been resolved.
Heimbach posted $1,000 bond Tuesday and was released.
Parrott told the SPLC that he had resigned from the Traditionalist Worker Party.
“I’m done. I’m out,” Parrott said. “SPLC has won. Matt Parrott is out of the game.”
This post has been updated.