- The Washington Times - Monday, August 28, 2017

A man seen in a now-viral video firing a gun at a crowd of counterprotesters during “Unite the Right” clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month has been arrested.

Charlottesville police arrested 52-year-old Richard Wilson Preston following the release of a video by the ACLU of Virginia that allegedly showed him firing a weapon in the direction of a group of counterprotesters, who were shouting insults and throwing objects at the right-wing demonstrators, CNN reported.

Video of the altercation, which took place Aug. 12 near Emancipation Park, showed a man in a load-bearing tactical vest shouting at the counterprotesters and drawing a pistol. He fired one shot in the crowd’s direction and walked away. He then proceeded to shout and walk past multiple police officers without notice.

The Virginia State Police confirmed to CNN on Saturday that their officers were nearby, but said they were unaware of the incident. There were also no reports at the time or since that anyone was shot.

“From where they were standing, none was witness to the incident,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. “Nor did they hear the single shot being fired because it was muffled by the loud volume of the crowd yelling and chanting, drums and music.”

“Had any one of our troopers witnessed that incident, they would have immediately acted just as they did for the other four arrests made during the weekend,” she said.

Mr. Preston is charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, a felony that carries up to 10 years in prison, CNN reported.

One person died and more than 30 injured at the same rally after a reported Nazi sympathizer, James Alex Fields Jr., allegedly rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters. He is charged with second-degree murder in what is being reported as an act of domestic terrorism.

Daniel Patrick Borden, 18, and Alex Michael Ramos, 33, have also been charged with “malicious wounding” in connection with an assault at the same rally, CNN reported.

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