Police arrest suspect in protest shooting
Video shows man firing handgun, yelling racial slur
A 52-year-old Baltimore man who allegedly fired a gun in a crowd at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month has been arrested by police.
Charlottesville police identified Richard Wilson Preston as the man seen in a video published Saturday by the ACLU of Virginia, according to CNN. In it, a man walking among protesters and counterprotesters at the city’s Emancipation Park draws a pistol and fires amid the crowd. Before doing so, the man, sporting a bandana and a tactical vest, appears to yell, “Hey, (N-word)!”
In 2013, a bandana-sporting Baltimore-area man named Richard Preston served as a Klu Klux Klan imperial wizard, arguing that the KKK was not racist but simply wanted to “stop Barack Obama,” as he said at a county meeting that year. He wore a white hood in the appearance.
“We’re going to do this all over America nonstop,” he said at the meeting. “We’re not going to stop.”
The Preston arrested Saturday now faces a charge of discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, according to CNN — a felony that could lead to 10 years in prison.
Preston was being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center after his arrest in Maryland, the Baltimore Sun reported, following a fugitive warrant issued in Virginia.
Preston apparently worked as a maintenance man at an allgirls school in Baltimore from 1996 to 2001, according to the Sun. On Sunday, the Bryn Mawr School issued a statement condemning Preston’s alleged ties and actions as “hatred” and “racism.”
The ACLU handed over its footage of the Charlottesville incident to the FBI on Aug. 17, distributing it to state and local authorities in the following days, the newspaper reported. Attempts by news organizations to reach Preston on Sunday proved unsuccessful.