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'Most Vicious' Proud Boy, A WTC Steel Inspector, Faces Felony Charges For Allegedly Beating Protester

John Kinsman
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John Kinsman Pool by Gardiner Anderson

The second Proud Boy to be charged for last week's violent clash between members of the group and protesters is a World Trade Center steel inspector, who prosecutors described as the "single most vicious" of the alleged attackers.

John Kinsman, 39, was charged with attempted first degree assault, attempted gang assault, and riot, according to the criminal complaint. He was held in lieu of $25,000 bond or $15,000 cash bail after his Friday night arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court.

“This defendant was the single most vicious of all the attackers,” Manhattan Assistant District Attorney John Steinglass said in court, alleging that Kinsman repeatedly punched, kicked and stomped an anti-fascist protester.

"Afterwards he turned his attention to another antifa member who he also kicked. All the while, the defendant didn't bother to take a cigarette out of his mouth,” Steinglass added.

But Kinsman's lawyer, Ronald Hart, called the multiple felony charges overblown, and said they were the result of political pressure: “The governor and the mayor have asked for some type of prosecution,” Hart said, arguing that the conduct warranted “nothing more than a misdemeanor.”

Kinsman, the attorney added, had worked as a steel inspector for the last seven years, “helping to rebuild the World Trade Center.” He is married, and the “very proud father” of a three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter.

In court, a Proud Boys tattoo was visible on Kinsman's right forearm—a requirement for members of the organization to advance to the "third degree," according to Proud Boys founder, Gavin McInnes. Fourth degree status is reserved for those who "get beat up, kick the crap out of an antifa."

Another alleged Proud Boy, Geoffrey Young, 38, was arrested Friday. He was charged with attempted assault and riot and was released on his own recognizance. Hours prior to the arrest, Young was accused in an anonymous Medium post of assaulting a Muslim woman during an anti-Islam march in Manhattan last year, and later updating his Facebook bio to note his "fourth degree" status.

While McInnes told the Times that the remaining seven members of the group would surrender to police by Friday night, that had not happened as of Saturday afternoon. An unnamed law enforcement official also told the paper that the Proud Boys had become the subject of a broad criminal investigation. An inquiry to the NYPD was not immediately returned.

Also on Friday, a few dozen protesters staged a “No Nazi” rally near the 19th Precinct in the Upper East Side, where they condemned both the Proud Boys and the police. “We expect the NYPD to continue to blame anti-racist protesters for the violence,” said Sophia Adams, an organizer with People’s Power Assemblies. “The collusion between Proud Boys and the NYPD comes as no surprise to the activists in New York.”

The Proud Boys are an exclusively male group who define themselves as "Western Chauvinists," and have a history of violent street brawls across the country. They are labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The violent encounter between Proud Boys and protesters occurred after McInnes spoke last Friday evening at the Metropolitan Republican Club.

Conviction on the assault charges against Kinsman and Young could lead to prison sentences, but it's unclear if any victims will come forward to testify. Kinsman's next court date is scheduled for October 24th.

Additional reporting by Jen Chung and Jake Offenhartz.

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