Three men criminally charged for physical harassment of protester at Trump rally in Louisville
Criminal summonses have been issued for Matthew Heimbach, a leader with the white supremacist Traditionalist Youth Network, Alvin Bamberger, a 75-year-old Ohio resident, and Indiana resident Joseph Pryor
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – A white nationalist and two other men are facing criminal charges after they were caught on video shoving a black female protester through the crowd at a rally for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Louisville in March, according to police.
Criminal summonses have been issued for Matthew Heimbach, a leader with the white supremacist Traditionalist Youth Network; Alvin Bamberger, a 75-year-old Ohio resident who was wearing a uniform associated with the Korean War Veterans Association; and Indiana resident Joseph Pryor.
All three men have been charged with harassment with physical contact of Shiya Nwanguma, said Alicia Smiley, a spokeswoman for the Louisville Metro Police Department. The charge is a misdemeanor.
A criminal summons is signed by a judge and states the crime the person has been accused of and orders them to appear in court. However it is unclear if the summonses have been served or when the men have been scheduled to appear in Jefferson District Court. All three men live out of state.
Josh Abner, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Attorney's office, said he could not confirm or deny that the criminal summonses had been issued. There is no case file until the person charged appears in court.
Nwanguma, a University of Louisville student, was seen being pushed and shoved out of the audience in a video that went viral.
Nwanguma claims she was protesting non-violently by carrying a sign depicting Trump’s face on the body of a pig. She filed a lawsuit against the men and Trump alleging she was called racist and sexist slurs and repeatedly assaulted.
Heimbach and Bamberger both shoved and struck her, according to the lawsuit. Pryor is not mentioned in the lawsuit. Other media publications have said Pryor was an aspiring Marine who was reportedly discharged because of the incident.
Four other protesters at the Trump rally filed criminal complaints with Louisville Metro Police, but prosecutors declined to press charges in those alleged incidents, according to Smiley.
Henry Brousseau, a 17-year-old high school student, is also part of the lawsuit involving Nwanguma. He alleges he was punched in the stomach by one of the Traditionalist Worker Party “comrades.” The suit includes “unknown defendant” as a party.
Another plaintiff, Molly Shah, who also filed a criminal complaint, claims after one of Trump’s five comments urging supporters to throw out protesters, Heimbach and others rushed at her small group. Shah said she witnessed someone punch Brousseau and then she was shoved from behind by Heimbach as she began to leave.
The lawsuit claims Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Brousseau were peacefully protesting at the Kentucky International Convention Center when Trump stopped his speech and told his supporters to “get ‘em out of here.”
Bamberger later wrote a letter to the veteran’s association admitting his role in the assault, according to records in the lawsuit file.
“Trump kept saying ‘get them out, get them out’ and people in the crowd began pushing and shoving the protesters,” Bamberger wrote. “”I physically pushed a young woman down the aisle toward the exit, an action I sincerely regret.”
Heimbach has said publicly he's looking out for the white race. On his website, he explained that Nwanguma was trying to create a disturbance.
Nwanguma told WFPL that people were already trying to take the signs from her hands when Trump saw her from the podium and told the crowd to get her out.
“And then that’s when everybody started to attack me,” she said. “There were some pretty awful things said. I was called the N-word. I was called the C-word."
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