31 people were arrested Saturday for planning to riot amid a pride event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, say local authorities. City Police Chief Lee White said they appeared to be members of the white nationalist group Patriot Front, based on their attire.
The reported name of one defendant–Thomas Ryan Rousseau–matches that of their founder. The group often holds “flash demonstrations,” according to The Southern Poverty Law Center.
A concerned citizen called at approximately 1:38 p.m. on Saturday about seeing about 20 people wearing masks and shields jump into a U-Haul, White said during a press conference on Saturday. The chief quoted that they “looked like a little army.”
Units began going to the area, and there was a traffic stop about 10 minutes later, White said. 31 people were detained. They all wore similar attire, such as khaki pants, he said. They had shields, shin guards, and other riot gear, he said. There was at least one smoke grenade, he said. They also possessed an operations plan that a police or military group would put together for a day’s event, he said.
The 31 people planned to riot in the downtown area, including Couer d’Alene City Park, he said. That’s where the North Idaho Pride Alliance was holding its annual Pride in the Park event.
Each of the 31 were arrested for conspiracy to riot, with a first appearance in court set for Monday.
holy shit. patriot front detained pic.twitter.com/uIIZeXn6Ci
— alissa azar (@AlissaAzar) June 11, 2022
In explaining the apparent link to Patriot Front, White noted they had arm patches, one of which had the group’s name. They also had logos on their hats consistent with the organization.
White described a “great deal of officers” as participating in the arrests because of the number of suspects. The 31 people were cooperative, he said. He described them as being from states including Texas, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Arkansas, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, and Virginia.
White also said there were at least two other arrests in City Park near the pride event: one for disorderly conduct, and one for trespassing. There were also at least three warnings, he said.
White did not identify any of the 31 people, saying that booking was ongoing. Besides Rousseau, they were identified by KXLY as: Kerry Lamont Arnold, Jared Michael Boyce, Nathan David Brenner, Colton Michael Brown, Josiah Daniel Buster, Devin Wayne Center, Dylan Carter Corio, Winston North Durham, Joseph Garret Garland, Branden Mitchel Haney, Richard Jacob Jessop, James Michael Johnson, James Julius Johnson, Connor Patrick Moran, Kieran Padraig Morris, Lawrence Alexander Norman, Justin Michael Oleary, Cameron Kathan Pruitt, Forrest Clark Rankin, Conor James Ryan, Spencer Thomas Simpson, Derek Joseph Smith, Alexander Nicholai Sisenstein, Dakota Ray Tabler, Steven Derrick Tucker, Wesley Evan Van Horn, Mitchell Frederick Wagner, Nathaniel Taylor Whitfield, Robert Benjamin Whitted, and Graham Jones Whitsom.
[Screenshot via Alissa Azar]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]