ST. PAUL, Minn. — In a joint press conference Friday afternoon, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and St. Paul City Attorney Sam Clark announced that they have officially filed charges against eight protesters from the March 4, 2017 Trump Rally at the Capitol in St. Paul.
“When people seek to prevent others who are peacefully assembled from making their voices heard, it threatens the very foundation of our democracy, said Choi. “I am pleased that we were able to gather sufficient evidence to charge these defendants. I want to thank investigators from the Minnesota State Patrol and Saint Paul Police Department for their diligent work in bringing these charges forward, and the witnesses who cooperated with police investigators by providing statements and video evidence.”
Out of Country Protesters
Choi announced that two men would be charged with felony crimes by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
Anton William Bueckert, 26, is charged with three felony counts of obstructing the legal process and the use of tear gas to immobilize. He is also charged with third degree riot. Bueckert broke the thumb of a police officer in his attempt to get away. Court documents list his place of residence in Ontario, Canada.
The use of tear gas and obstruction of the legal process each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines. Third degree riot carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or $3,000 in fines.
Francis Thomas Sagermerek, 29, is charged with two felony counts of use of tear gas and third degree riot. Witness statements identified Sagermerek as having red hair, according to court documents. The State Patrol was able to identify him through photos of protesters.
Sagermerek was arrested and had his first court appearance Friday afternoon.
Clark also announced charges against six individuals in connection to the rally.
Of the six, Jonathan Marc Adams, 26, Linwood Michael Kaine, 24, Glenn Fredrick Kimball, 22, Isabell Kimball, 26, and Hayley Marina Ryan, 23, were charged with two misdemeanors, fleeing on foot and concealing their identity in a public place.
In addition to the misdemeanors, Kaine, son of Hillary Clinton running mate and Senator of Virginia, Tim Kaine, was also charged with obstruction of the legal process, a gross misdemeanor.
Clark’s office also charged Starr Antoinette Vann-Jackson with use of tear gas or a stun gun and third degree riot, both are gross misdemeanors.
Charges Begin to Paint Riot at March 4 Trump Rally
On March 4, more than 400 people arrived at the Capitol in St. Paul to celebrate the election of President Donald Trump. As Alpha News reported, anti-Trump protesters gathered in the Capitol hallways outside the Rotunda and began to cause a scene, chanting loudly and blowing whistles.
Protesters tasered Trump supporters, sprayed chemical irritants, threw smoke bombs, and engaged in physical altercations with Trump supporters. Protesters eventually left the Capitol and the Trump program ended two-hours early.
Supporting Their Son
Alpha News has tried to reach out to Sen. Kaine for comment and was not immediately successful.
However, a spokesperson for Sen. Kaine did release a statement to the Pioneer Press:
“Today’s announcement of misdemeanor charges against Sen. Kaine’s son contains no suggestion that he engaged in disruptive behavior while at the rally, but are instead focused on his actions as he was arrested after he left,” said Miryam Lipper, Sen. Tim Kaine’s spokeswoman, in a statement. “Tim and Anne support their son and hope the matter is resolved soon.”
Both Clark and Choi denied allegations that they met with Sen. Kaine or his representatives, stating that the investigation was not politically based.
“From the beginning, this has never been about what anybody had to say at the Capitol on March 4. It’s also never been about who the police arrested that day,” Clark said. “In my mind this has always been about making sure that people who seek to express themselves peacefully can do so free from fear of violence. That should be a bright line for everyone.”
An Ongoing Investigation
Both Choi and Clark have stressed that the investigation into what happened at the Trump Rally on March 4 is still ongoing.
Jonathan Aanestad, an organizer for the March 4 Trump rally told Alpha News, “It’s a good first step.”
Aanestad, who was sprayed with a chemical irritant in the face explained that he had been working with several people who had been injured at the rally in March. Four individuals have come forward from the March 4 Rally. A middle-aged woman was hit in the head with a smoke bomb, a disabled veteran was sprayed in eyes with a chemical irritant and struggled with his vision for a week, a 17-year-old girl was punched in the face, which led to her glasses being broken, and a 40-year-old man was sprayed with a yellow chemical irritant.
“This was political terrorism committed against these Trump supporters,” Aanestad said.
It could take months for cases against the eight and any others who could potentially face charges to be scheduled.