And stay out: Cantwell pleads guilty, banned from Virginia for five years

Crying Nazi Chris Cantwell bids an anti-Semitic adieu to Charlottesville. Photo by Eze Amos Crying Nazi Chris Cantwell bids an anti-Semitic adieu to Charlottesville. Photo by Eze Amos

Chris Cantwell, aka the Crying Nazi, came to Charlottesville a year ago to chant “Jews will not replace us” while marching through UVA Grounds. As the self-proclaimed racist shock jock was booted from Virginia July 20, he hurled a final invective at local media outside the Albemarle Circuit Court when he refused to comment to “you Jews.”

Cantwell faced two felony charges of pepper-spraying Emily Gorcenski and Kristopher Goad in front of the Rotunda at the base of the Jefferson statue August 11, 2017, where a group of around 40 counterprotesters were surrounded by several hundred tiki-torch carrying white supremacists.

The New Hampshire man was supposed to be in court July 20 for a bond hearing. Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci filed a motion to revoke Cantwell’s bond for violating the terms of his release by identifying the victims in his broadcasts. It would have been the second time he’d been brought in for bond violation. The first was a drunk in public arrest March 31 in Leesburg, where he’s been housed while awaiting trial.

Instead, Cantwell entered a guilty plea for two misdemeanor counts of assault and battery. He was sentenced to two years in prison, with all but the 107 days he’d already spent in jail suspended.

He was given eight hours to get out of town—and the commonwealth—and is banned from the state for five years. He may not carry a weapon here and he’s forbidden to contact Gorcenski and Goad directly or indirectly, including through social media and radio. He was also ordered to pay $250 for doing so while out on bond.

According to Tracci, Gorcenski and Goad supported the plea agreement. Gorcenski is now living overseas, “partly as a result of harassment associated with this case,” he said.

In court, Tracci told the judge that video evidence would have shown Cantwell pepper spraying a man known only as “Beanie Man,” and that the defense would have argued Cantwell sprayed in self-defense. Gorcenski and Goad were gassed in the spray’s drift.

Little known outside the alt-right circles that listened to his “Radical Agenda” radio show, Cantwell gained more widespread notoriety when he came to Charlottesville as a speaker for last year’s Unite the Right rally, and espoused his white supremacist views to Vice reporter Elle Reeve throughout the weekend. His opinions were aired in a segment called “Charlottesville: Race and Terror.”

“We’ll fucking kill these people if we have to,” he said after the rally that left counterprotester  Heather Heyer dead and dozens more injured.

He became known as the Crying Nazi after he posted a teary YouTube video about the warrant for his arrest before turning himself in in Lynchburg.

“This agreement reflects the defendant’s acceptance of criminal responsibility for his dispersal of pepper spray on August 11, 2017,” said Tracci in a statement. The agreement does not preclude additional prosecution for conduct on that date, added the prosecutor.

Cantwell left the courthouse accompanied by mutton-chopped attorney Elmer Woodard, who’s representing several white supremacists charged following last year’s Unite the Right rally.

It was Daily Progress reporter Lauren Berg’s last day, and she filmed Cantwell’s response to a request for comment. As Woodard tipped his boater hat to the press, Cantwell answered, “You can contact me through my website instead of this gotcha garbage, you Jews.”