All five members of the Ku Klux Klan arrested for their involvement in the Pearson Park melee on Saturday are now walking free. Charles Donner, the only Klansmen held over the weekend, got released yesterday even though he stood accused of stabbing three counter-protesters, spilling their blood all over the sidewalk. “The release was based on the video evidence and statements that present convincing evidence of self-defense,” Anaheim police spokesman Sgt. Daron Wyatt tells the Weekly.
An updated press statement sent out by the department yesterday evening noted that the Orange County District Attorney’s office will review the case and make the final call on whether criminal charges will be filed or not. Further review of video footage by police led to the arrest of a juvenile counter-protester yesterday after he had been initially released. He’s being held at Orange County Juvenile Hall for assault with a deadly weapon.
“Regardless of an individual or groups’ beliefs or ideologies, they are entitled to live without the fear of physical violence and have the right, under the law, to defend themselves when attacked,” the police statement says of the Klan’s right to rally. Sensitive to criticisms it botched the well-publicized rally, the department defended its response to the melee saying several marked patrol cars arrived to the scene nearly two minutes after the first report of violence.
In the meantime, community and faith-based leaders are planning a peace walk at 6 p.m. today from Pearson Park to Anaheim City Hall to denounce the Klan’s message of hate and violence. They vow to disallow Saturday’s melee to define Anaheim or Orange County.
But the final tally from the Klan rally now stands at seven counter-demonstrators (including the youngster) being held, with one unidentified Mark Henry-looking brother still wanted in connection with the fight. Two of the stab victims remain hospitalized. All Klukkers, including the stabber, are scot-free at the moment.
Only in Klanaheim!