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'Alt-Right' Leader Appears Before Albemarle County Judge

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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

A leader of the "alt-right" appeared in an Albemarle County court Thursday morning.

Christopher Charles Cantwell of Keene, New Hampshire, went before a judge in Albemarle General District Court Thursday, August 24. He is charged with two counts of illegal use of tear gas, phosgene and other gases, and one count of malicious bodily injury by means of any caustic substance or agent or use of any explosive or fire.

According to Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Tracci, the judge denied bond during Thursday's hearing, but Cantwell can seek a bond hearing when counsel is appointed. Cantwell plans to hire his own attorney.

The charges stem from a torch-lit march around the University of Virginia held by members and supporters of the "alt-right" on Friday, August 11, a day before the Unite the Right rally in Emancipation Park.

Cantwell was also involved in an incident at the Walmart parking lot in Albemarle County that same Friday. Officers responded to the store around 12:20 p.m. after receiving a report that customers were concerned with a group of people pointing guns in the store's parking lot.

Police told NBC29 that Cantwell and his group left the parking lot without incident and no arrests were made.

Authorities said Cantwell himself in to the Lynchburg Police Department Wednesday, August 23. He was being held at Blue Ridge Regional Jail pending transport to Charlottesville.

Cantwell is now being held at Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail.

Tracci said a preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 12.

08/23/2017 Release from University of Virginia Police:

The University of Virginia Police Department (UPD) was notified late this afternoon that Christopher Cantwell had turned himself in to the Lynchburg VA Police Department with regard to the warrants that UPD had on file for him.

Mr. Cantwell is currently being held at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Lynchburg pending transport to Charlottesville.

08/22/2017 Release University of Virginia Police Department:

The University of Virginia Police Department (UPD) has obtained the following warrants on a Mr. Christopher Cantwell of Keene, New Hampshire:

18.2-312, Illegal use of tear gas, phosgene and other gases (felony, two counts).
18.2-52, Malicious bodily injury by means of any caustic substance or agent or use of any explosive or fire (felony, one count).

These warrants stem from incidents on the University of Virginia Grounds during the evening of August 11. Mr. Cantwell should turn himself in immediately to any police agency.

As this is still an active and ongoing criminal investigation, we will not be providing any further information at this time.

UPD asks that any additional witnesses or victims stemming from the incidents on UVA Grounds on August 11 to contact our department for assistance at 434-924-7166 or police@virginia.edu.