Jason Kessler Punched, Chased from Press Conference at Charlottesville City Hall
Jason Kessler, the organizer of the Unite The Right rally, attempted to hold a press conference Sunday in front of Charlottesville City Hall but ran away when the crowd swarmed him.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Jason Kessler, the organizer of the Unite The Right rally, attempted to hold a press conference in front of Charlottesville City Hall Sunday at 2 p.m.
Kessler began to speak but was quickly drowned out by the crowd chanting 'say her name' and yelling at him. He was speaking at the podium, but members of the crowd were unable to hear his message.
Our microphones were able to hear his remarks. He said, "What happened yesterday (the violence at the Unite the Right rally) was the result of the Charlottesville police officers refusing to do their jobs. They stood down and did not follow through with the agreed upon security arrangements."
One individual from the crowd approached Kessler at the podium and punched him. Other members of the crowd followed, swarming the podium and Kessler ran away.
The crowd followed him up the street to the police department. Police separated him from the protesters and escorted him into police headquarters.
One arrest has been made following the incident. Robert K. Litzenberger, 47, of Charlottesville, Va., was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery for spitting on Kessler as he was trying to walk away from the area.
We spoke with Jeff Winder, the man who punched Kessler in the face, who said, "He (Kessler) had an incredible amount of nerve coming in front of the people of Charlottesville after the pain, suffering, and terror that he brought on the community. He should never be allowed to show his face in town again."
Charlottesville police are saying that "as the crowd grew more hostile towards Kessler, police provided him a safe exit from the site."
Warning, videos may contain graphic language:
NBC29's Matt Talhelm's video of police escorting Kessler into the station.
Video of the beginning of the press conference:
Video of Kessler getting punched at the beginning of the conference: