“Drunk,” “loaded” and “liquored up” were all words used in Albemarle County Circuit Court to describe the state of “Crying Nazi” Chris Cantwell during his Loudoun County arrest last month that nearly landed the self-proclaimed racist back in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.
At an April 25 hearing, Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci said good behavior was a condition of the $25,000 bond Cantwell was granted in December. He has been ordered to stay in Leesburg while he awaits his trial for allegedly pepper spraying two people at the August 11 torch-lit white supremacist rally on UVA Grounds.
The New Hampshire man was allegedly carrying a can of tactical pepper spray when he walked in front of traffic and was nearly struck by two vehicles. He was charged with public swearing and intoxication March 31 in Leesburg, according to Tracci.
Cantwell called it a “gross exaggeration,” and said he was walking from Bunker Sports Cafe to his residence, which is less than a mile away. He entered a 7-Eleven, and he claims he said, “Don’t buy cigarettes, stupid,” aloud to himself in front of police, and was arrested outside the store.
“Did he misbehave and get liquored up? Sure,” said his attorney, Elmer Woodard. “But that doesn’t mean he’s a threat to the public.”
Judge Cheryl Higgins found it to be a violation of his bond, and ordered Cantwell to wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet along with the GPS monitor he already wears. He may not consume any more alcohol while out on bond.
During the hearing, a police officer testified he was contacted by an FBI agent who believed Cantwell had exceeded the 22-mile radius he’s allowed to roam, but Jeff Lenert, a partner at Central Virginia Monitoring, testified that none of the data he collected in March showed Cantwell out of his permitted zone.
Tracci also argued that Cantwell was using social media to threaten and intimidate others, including the victims of his pending criminal case.
The prosecutor showed the judge a photo that Cantwell reposted on the web of a little girl who appeared to be protesting gun violence at the March for Our Lives, and who held a sign that said, “Am I next?” Cantwell’s online response? “One can hope.”
Another post referred to gassing “kikes and trannies.”
“I make jokes for a living,” Cantwell told the judge. “It’s what I do. I’m a professional entertainer.”
Woodard called Emily Gorcenski to the stand, who is a victim in the pepper spray accusation. He asked her to state her name and immediately excused her.
Higgins was quick to reprimand Woodard, and the attorney said he was simply proving that Gorcenski wasn’t too intimidated by Cantwell to come to his hearing.
Said Higgins, “Maybe because there are four bailiffs here.”
She ordered that Cantwell may not contact the victims in the case, refer to them on the web or use direct or indirect intimidation or threat tactics.
Woodard said the order infringed on Cantwell’s First Amendment rights and noted that Gorcenski is permitted to continue posting anything she wants about Cantwell. The attorney asked his client if there are also people who criticize him online.
Said Cantwell, “That would be the understatement of the century.”
Higgins also granted Tracci’s motion to quash Woodard’s request for all electronic data and conversations between the two victims in Cantwell’s case. The judge called it a “fishing expedition” and ordered the complainants to only provide the photos and videos they used to identify Cantwell as their attacker.
His trial is set for August 13.