COUER D’ALENE, Idaho (WHNT) — A Lauderdale County man was among 31 men arrested Saturday near a Pride event in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, according to local officials.
31 masked and uniformed members of a group called “Patriot Front” were arrested over the weekend. Wesley Evan Van Horn of Lexington was among those listed with the Kootenai County, Idaho, sheriff’s office.
Couer d’Alene Police (CDAP) said the men, who were crammed into a U-Haul, were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to riot at a “Pride in the Park” event. Police found riot gear, a smoke grenade, shin guards and shields inside the van, according to CDAP chief Lee White.
The men wore matching outfits consisting of khaki pants, dark blue shirts, masks and baseball caps.
Based on the collected evidence and documents, White said he determined that the group planned to riot in several downtown neighborhoods, not just the park.
At that same press conference, Chief White said someone called the police about the U-Haul, who said “it looked like a small army was charging into the vehicle” in the parking lot of ‘hotel. Officials spotted the truck soon after and stopped it, according to White.
Those arrested came from at least 12 states, officials said, including Alabama, Washington, Arkansas, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Virginia and Wyoming. Only one of the men was from Idaho.
The Patriot Front is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “a white nationalist hate group” that formed after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
At a press conference after the arrest, Chief White said the 31 men were charged with conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor. The men are to be arraigned on Monday, White said.
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