Cen­tral Val­ley white na­tion­al­ist tied to Char­lottesville rally files for Chap­ter 7

The Sacramento Bee - - Capitol & California - BY GARTH STAPLEY gsta­p­[email protected]­bee.com

Nathan Damigo has filed for bank­ruptcy in an ap­par­ent at­tempt to dodge law­suits fac­ing him and other white na­tion­al­ists in­volved in the deadly Unite the Right rally in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia.

Damigo and two dozen ex­trem­ist lead­ers or their groups con­spired to com­mit vi­o­lence in Au­gust

2017, say the law­suits, both filed in Vir­ginia.

One is in state court; the other, filed in fed­eral court, is sched­uled for trial in July.

Last week, Damigo filed a Chap­ter 7 pe­ti­tion in U.S. Bank­ruptcy Court in Modesto. The same day, Jan.

2, his at­tor­ney filed a no­tice with the fed­eral court in Vir­ginia declar­ing an “au­to­matic stay,” or halt in the law­suit against Damigo be­cause of the bank­ruptcy.

Damigo did not re­turn a mes­sage left with his cell­phone Fri­day, and his Ohio at­tor­ney, James Kolenich, hung up when asked about Damigo.

DAMIGO’S MODESTO BANK­RUPTCY

In his bank­ruptcy pe­ti­tion, Damigo cites his in­volve­ment in “two law­suits” in a sec­tion out­lin­ing money owed that is nei­ther busi­ness-re­lated nor con­sumer debt.

Damigo owes un­spec­i­fied and dis­puted amounts, the pe­ti­tion says, to plain­tiffs in the fed­eral case, in­clud­ing Heather Heyer and her sur­vivors. She was killed in Char­lottesville when a Dodge Charger plowed into a group of peo­ple protest­ing the white na­tion­al­ist rally. The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., in De­cem­ber was found guilty of murOak­dale’s der and sen­tenced to life in prison plus 419 years.

Co-debtors listed in Damigo’s bank­ruptcy are de­fen­dants in the fed­eral law­suit, in­clud­ing Iden­tity Evropa, the group Damigo founded in March 2016 us­ing his fam­ily’s ad­dress east of Oak­dale.

Oth­ers in­clude Fields, rec­og­nized white su­prem­a­cists Richard Spencer and Ja­son Kessler and groups such as the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, East Coast Knights of the True In­vis­i­ble Em­pire, Fra­ter­nal Or­der of the Alt-Knights and Na­tional So­cial­ist Move­ment.

“De­fen­dants and their co-con­spir­a­tors promised that there would be vi­o­lence in Char­lottesville, and vi­o­lence there was,” the law­suit reads, de­scrib­ing neo-Nazis and white separatists armed with semi-au­to­matic weapons, shields and torches march­ing and chant­ing “blood and soil,” a Nazi slo­gan, and “you will not re­place us.” Damigo’s group “adopted and pop­u­lar­ized” the lat­ter, the law­suit says.

“Damigo and his group Iden­tity Evropa took a lead role in or­ga­niz­ing white su­prem­a­cist par­tic­i­pa­tion among peo­ple from out­side Char­lottesville to en­gage in un­law­ful acts of vi­o­lence,” the law­suit says.

“This is a huge vic­tory for us,” Damigo wrote in a Tweet af­ter his rally ar­rest and re­lease. “We are go­ing to get na­tional at­ten­tion.”

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sparked pub­lic out­cry when he blamed all in­volved for the vi­o­lence and said there were “some very fine peo­ple on both sides.” Damigo and two oth­ers even­tu­ally were con­victed of fail­ing to dis­perse, and oth­ers were

charged with more se­ri­ous crimes.

‘BAT­TLE OF BERKE­LEY’ VIDEO GOES VI­RAL

Years ear­lier, af­ter two tours in Iraq with the Marines, Damigo served a prison term for rob­bing a Mid­dle East­ern cab driver in Cal­i­for­nia, a crime he blamed on post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der in an HBO tele­vi­sion show. Af­ter his re­lease, Damigo be­came in­volved in white na­tion­al­ism, and a video of Damigo floor­ing a young woman with a blow to the face dur­ing a clash in Berke­ley in April 2017 went vi­ral.

Hav­ing founded Iden­tity Evropa, Damigo posted a se­ries of 20 self-filmed videos fea­tur­ing race­based themes and at­tack­ing fem­i­nism. “The idea that dis­crim­i­na­tion is al­ways morally wrong is com­pletely ab­surd,” he said in one. “Any­one say­ing this is say­ing, ‘Hey, don’t use your brain; be an id­iot.’ ”

Damigo stepped away from lead­ing Iden­tity Evropa shortly af­ter the deadly rally. He ob­tained a so­ci­ol­ogy de­gree in May from Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­sity, Stanis­laus, in Tur­lock, whose City Coun­cil joined Oak­dale’s in pass­ing anti-hate res­o­lu­tions.

In his bank­ruptcy, Damigo lists monthly in­come of $1,784 from a vet­eran’s dis­abil­ity ben­e­fit, and monthly ex­penses of

$1,140. He owns no real es­tate, and his as­sets in­clude en­gage­ment and wed­ding rings; a 2006 BMW 325i in need of re­pair val­ued at $2,532; a cell­phone, lap­top com­puter and other elec­tron­ics val­ued at $1,713; wood­work­ing and con­struc­tion equip­ment worth $1,764; and a golden re­triever val­ued in one sec­tion at

$500, and in an­other at

$250.

Nathan Damigo

Nathan Damigo of Oak­dale filed for bank­ruptcy in Modesto to hurt Vir­ginia law­suits against him and other white na­tion­al­ist lead­ers stem­ming from a deadly alt-right rally in Char­lottesville.

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