Orange County's Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon, who was roughed up by counter-protesters during a February KKK rally in Anaheim, is now sitting in a North Carolina jail after being arrested for allegedly stabbing and beating another man at a Klan meeting.
William Ernest Hagen, who also goes by “Billy Quigg” and “William Quigg,” was arrested early Saturday at the Yanceyville home of Christopher Eugene Barker, the founder of the local Ku Klux Klan who was also taken into custody by Caswell County sheriff's deputies.
Richard Dillon, 47, of Indiana, had been brought by a friend to the sheriff's office around 3:15 a.m., after the victim had been stabbed in the chest, reports the Burlington Times-News.
Dillon reportedly told deputies that during the meeting Barker encouraged 50-year-old Hagen to fight the Indianan and that during the assault the man from Orange stabbed him and the Yanceyville man kicked him while he was on the ground.
Hagen was arrested on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and Barker was held for alleged felony aiding and abetting with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, according to the Caswell County Sheriff's Office, which adds their first court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The bust came the night before Barker's Loyal White Knights were scheduled to hold a morning “Trump victory parade” in nearby Pelham, but the KKK never showed. However, Saturday afternoon, about 20 klansmen held a “car parade” through Roxboro, which is about 36 miles away. (Pelham and Yanceyville are about 15 miles apart.)
Police in Roxboro were scheduled to hold a news conference today to address community concerns about the KKK's presence in town.
Hagen, who we identified variously as Will/Bill/William Quigg, has been a frequent presence in the Weekly over the past 12 months. Someone by that name—saying he was the California Grand Dragon West Coast King Kleagle of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (in other words, head of OC's own KKK)—left Editor-in-Chief Gustavo Arellano a voicemail last December boasting of having just held a successful klukker rally at Pierson Park in Anaheim and vowing to have another a couple months later.
Sure enough, a handful of klansmen showed up at the park in February, but because word had got out ahead of time they were met by enthusiastic counter-protesters who taunted and rushed them. A melee broke out, six klukkers and seven counter-protesters were originally taken into custody and authorities later identified Hagen as one of the victims.
Indeed, Arellano wrote some stories about how Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, stepped between Hagen and counter-protesters to protect the klan leader from further harm.
As Levin and Quigg walked away, the professor told the head of the local Klan, “So how does it feel to have your life saved by a Jewish guy?”
“Thank you,” Quigg replied.
Hagen/Quigg later popped up in a post by yours truly, who reported that the Grand Dragon's claimed support for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was not being taken seriously. After Donald Trump's victory, Hagen bragged he had pulled a fast one on the media.
But back to the encounter with Levin, it's interesting to note that the professor, who used to work with the Southern Poverty Law Center, asked Hagen, “Can you understand why people are incensed?”
The Grand Dragon then insisted his group was not the Klan of old.
Indeed it is not, if the charges in North Carolina stick, because that would indicate in the upside down time of Trump—when facts are myths, down is up and white is really, really white—klukkers are now eating their own.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.