A ‘violent’ Antifa leader in Wisconsin broke into tears after police ‘busted’ him carrying a flamethrower to a Black Lives Matter rally.
Green Bay police arrested Matthew Banta, 23, after they found him carrying an incendiary device.
A criminal complaint alleges that Banta ‘is a violent Antifa member’ who goes by the nickname ‘Commander Red.’ Antifa is a far-left anti-fascist movement comprising different sub-groups, of all who hold anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian rallies.
The complaint also asserts that Banta’ incites violence in otherwise relatively peaceful protests.’
Police first spotted him heading toward a BLM event in Green Bay. And when they approached him, he dropped into the ‘fetal position’ and began crying.
He was carrying stickers, an Antifa flag, smoke grenades, fireworks rockets, and a flamethrower.
The officers then arrested him under allegations that he wanted to incite violence.
The BLM rally had started off peaceful, with crowds moving through the city’s downtown.
However, police arrested 15 people, including Banta, at the march after the rally ‘took a turn, and authorities ordered it unlawful.’
When officers took Banta to custody, they charged him with obstructing an officer and two counts of felony bail jumping.
While Banta admitted to police that he was heading toward the Black Lives Matter protest, he denied trying to stir up trouble. The court later released him on a $2,500 bond.
At the Time of Arrest in Green Bay, Banta Was Out on a $10,000 Bond
Earlier, cops had arrested him for ‘pointing a gun at a police officer’ and ‘biting and kicking an officer.’
Conditions of that bond dictated that Banta can’t have or carry dangerous weapons.
Meanwhile, police officials in Green Bay spoke out about the presence of Antifa members in their city.
Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith told news outlets:
“It’s worrisome when people associated with Antifa come here to Green Bay from out of town [to commit] violent acts.”
While community group Black Lives United-Green Bay said they have no association with Banta, they offered a statement,
“BLU is not discouraged by the way folks are grieving… We are in this together.”
“We don’t see rioting as taking away from our message because it actually reinforces the state of emergency that we are in.”
But authorities have a different view.
Police Chief Smith told Fox 11:
“Burning buildings, hurting people, shooting, looting, vandalizing — there’s absolutely no way that is a form of protest.”