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Three men arrested on assault, robbery charges in clash following speech by founder of far-right group

Three men arrested on assault, robbery charges in clash following speech by founder of far-right group
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Three men were arrested on assault and robbery charges in New York City on Friday following a violent clash after a speech by the founder of the "Proud Boys," a male-only, far-right group.

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The New York Police Department confirmed in an email to The Hill that Kai Russo, Caleb Perkins, and Finbarr Slonim were arrested late Friday following clashes after a speech from "Proud Boys" founder and Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes at the Metropolitan Republican Club. Perkins was also charged with resisting arrest.

Police said there were no serious injuries, adding that the department is reviewing additional video "and other evidence" to determine whether any other crimes were committed. If so, police said, they would identify perpetrators and make further arrests "as warranted."

Videos posted on YouTube show altercations between the Proud Boys and groups that were demonstrating against McInnes's speech.

"The NYPD is fully investigating last night’s attack involving the Proud Boys. If you know anything, the NYPD wants your help. Hate is never welcome in NYC and we will punish those responsible — whether they threw punches or incited violence — to the fullest extent of the law," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Saturday.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood tweeted, "I'm disturbed and disgusted by last night's attacks involving the so-called 'Proud Boys.'"

"Hate has no place in New York. This warrants immediate and thorough investigation by the NYPD to bring the perpetrators to justice," she added.

Police did not respond to inquiries from The Hill as to whether any of the three individuals arrested were involved with the "Proud Boys" organization or with those protesting McInnes's visit. 

New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also issued a statement Saturday night, warning the "Proud Boys" organization against future acts of violence.

"Authorities must view these videos immediately and make arrests and prosecute as appropriate," Cuomo said in the statement. "Here's a message from a Queens boy to the so-called 'proud boys' — New York has zero tolerance for your BS." 

Police had been searching for two men earlier that day who had vandalized the Republican Club.

The individuals were seen around 1:45 a.m. breaking windows, according to a local CBS affiliate. According to the outlet, the suspects sprayed graffiti on the door and left a note promising further destruction.

“Our attack is merely a beginning. We are not passive, we are not civil, and we will not apologize,” the message read.

“This is an act of political violence done by cowards in the middle of the night,” New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox told the affiliate of the vandalism. “There’s no doubt what they intended to do.”