The New York Police Department announced Thursday night they had made their first arrest of one of the Proud Boys, a violent, pro-Trump street gang that attacked several protesters in New York last week.
Geoffery Young, 38, was arrested at his home around 7:00 p.m. Thursday on charges of riot and attempted assault, according to The Daily Beast. He had previously appeared in a Proud Boys video saying he believes “terrorists” have correctly interpreted the Quran.
In the video, as Daily Beast noted Thursday, Young said he believes European countries would become Islamic and “it’s going to be something like World War II times ten.”
The arrest comes nearly a week after the Proud Boys leader and founder Gavin McInnes spoke at the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York. Following the speech, the NYPD led McInnes and a group of about 60 Proud Boys out of the club, trying to keep them away from protesters who had gathered outside. A group of McInnes’ followers broke away from the police escort and charged a group of antifascist protesters.
In the immediate wake of the brawl, the only three arrests made were of counter-protesters. On Sunday, the NYPD announced they were investigating the Proud Boys and asked for help identifying three persons of interest. As ThinkProgress reported earlier this week, “The person-of-interest posters released describe the men as “Suspect only — No probable cause for arrest” despite the fact that two of the suspects can be seen attacking people on sidewalks before yelling ‘Do you feel brave now, faggot?'”
Here's video of the Proud Boy mob assault from tonight up close pic.twitter.com/frW09dcDHn
— Adam (@leftkist) October 13, 2018
The Southern Poverty Law Center has classified the Proud Boys as a hate group, and they reported earlier this week that in addition to the Proud Boys, at least two people who took part in the violence were members of a far-right skinhead gang called 211 Bootboys, and another, one of the NYPD’s persons of interest, was part of a Latino skinhead group called Battalion 49.
McInnes has previously encouraged violence among his followers and said that “fighting solves everything.” In the past month alone, the Proud Boys have been involved in violent incidents in New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island.
He was at the club in Manhattan Friday to re-enact the murder of the leader of the Japanese Socialist Party Inejiro Asanuma by far-right extremist Otoya Yamaguchi. The discussion then reportedly turned into a series of crass remarks about Asian accents and names.
His invitation drew criticism, and the night before his appearance, the Metropolitan Club was vandalized. Two anarchist symbols were spray painted on the door, though New York Antifa denied having anything to do with the vandalism.
Statement from the Metropolitan Republican Club regarding the events surrounding the vandalism of the Club on Friday morning, October 12, 2018. pic.twitter.com/mfzyTEbijS
— Metropolitan Republican Club (@metgopclub) October 14, 2018
The Metropolitan Republican Club defended their decision to invite him, even in the wake of the violent brawl, saying in a statement, “We want to foster civil discussion, but never endorse violence. Gavin’s talk on Friday night, while at times was politically incorrect and a bit edgy, was certainly not inciting violence.”