Last Updated on June 12, 2022
A secret grand jury indicted 11 Antifa members who allegedly attacked Trump supporters at a rally in Pacific Beach last year, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office reported.
The prosecutors are charging the Antifa members with 29 various felony counts. Conspiracy to commit a riot and the use of tear gas and assault with a deadly weapon are among the charges.
The charges come from the Antifa members’ actions at the pro-Trump “Patriot March” which took place on January 9th, 2021, in San Diego.
Ten of the defendants plead not guilty, while one defendant will be arraigned later this month.
Journalist Andy Ngo reported on the Jan. 9th attacks, posting video footage of the violent assaults on Twitter
The assaults were numerous and lasted a long time along the boardwalk in Pacific Beach, San Diego in January 2021. The #antifa members blinded targets with pepper spray before punching and kicking them. Here’s part of the assault: pic.twitter.com/vFikfVZ41K
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) December 12, 2021
The San Diego grand jury corresponded in secret while hearing testimony for nearly two weeks before the indictment charges were publicly announced. Grand juries meet in secret to ensure the safety of witnesses and victims is protected.
William Hopkins, the prosecutor who first announced the case in December, claimed in court documents that Antifa was actively threatening witnesses and victims.
The court prosecutors claim Antifa members coordinated plans to carry out extremely violent “direct action” against the Trump supporters at the “Patriot March.”
The grand jury indictment says:
“[t]he defendants are all affiliated with Antifa. A group of the defendants originated from the Los Angeles area and the remaining defendants are from San Diego County. Antifa uses force, fear, and violence to further their interests and suppress the interests of others. The objective of this conspiracy was to incite and participate in a riot.”
The far-Left defendants charged are: Alexander Akridge-Jacobs, 31, Jesse Merel Cannon, 32, Joseph Austin Gaskins, 21, Brian Cortez Lightfoot Jr., 25, Christian Martinez, 23, Luis Francisco Mora, 30, Samuel Howard Ogden, 24, Bryan Rivera, 20, Faraz Martin Talab, 27, Jeremy Jonathan White, 39, and Erich Louis Yach, 38.
While most of the defendants calmly plead “not guilty” to the charges, Erich Louis Yach caused a scene when the judge called him “Mr. Yach.” Even though Yach’s arrest warrant defines him to be a male, Yach lashed out at the judge and said, “Misses! I am transgender!”
The indictment describes, in detail, various violent acts carried out by the Antifa members. They allegedly struck a victim with a baseball bat, hit a female with a wooden chair, fired a stun gun and pepper spray at multiple victims, and also used glass beer bottles as weapons.
The District Attorney’s office said in a statement last year, “video evidence analysis shows that overwhelmingly the violence in this incident was perpetrated by the Antifa affiliates and was not a mutual fray with both sides crossing out of lawful First Amendment expression into riot and violence.”
Two new prosecutors are leading this case, Katherine Johnson and Makenzie Harvey.
The defendants will be in court again on August 8th.