COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho, June 12, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Law enforcement officers in Idaho say six Utah men are among a group of 31 white supremacists arrested over the weekend as police say they attempted to disrupt a Pride festival Saturday in Coeur d’Alene.
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White gave a news conference Saturday outlining the events that led up to the alleged militant group’s arrest, which was shared by KLXY.com.
“At approximately 1:38 this afternoon, we received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who reported that approximately 20 people jumped into a U-Haul, wearing masks,” White said. “They had shields and, quote ‘looked like a little army,'” White quoted the caller as saying.
Police made a traffic stop about 10 minutes later.
“At that point, 31 people were detained,” White said. “They were all wearing similar attire. They had shields, shin guards and other riot gear with them, including at least one ‘smoker’ (smoke grenade). Thirty-one individuals have been arrested for conspiracy to riot at this point. They appear to be affiliated with the group Patriot Front.”
All were booked on a misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot after they were found near the park where the event was scheduled, police say. At least one man was wearing a Patriot Front patch, and others were wearing shirts and patches with messages said to support white nationalist views, police said.
The six Utah men booked on preliminary charges are:
- Cameron K. Pruitt, 23, of Midway
- Nathaniel Taylor Whitfield, 24, of Elk Ridge
- Jared Michael Boyce, 27, of Springville
Alexander Nicholai Sisenstein, 27, of Midvale
- Dakota Ray Tabler, 29, of West Valley City
- Branden Mitchel Haney, 35, of Kaysville
In addition to the six Utahns, men from Texas, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Arkansas, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon and Virginia were taken into custody. Only one of those facing charges is from Idaho, according to jail records.
White said the suspects would continue to be processed through the weekend and may face a judge Monday.
“Officers are going to be, over the course of the next several days, still booking evidence and including the shields and riot gear and things of that nature that were taken from these individuals,” he said.
“The stuff they had in their possession and in the U-Haul with them, along with paperwork that we see from them, (indicates) that they came to riot downtown, and that’s why they’ve been booked appropriately for conspiracy to riot.”
The U-Haul van was located close to the park location of the Pride festival. White said, according to investigators, the group may have planned to respond to an additional spot as well.
According to an article by UPI, Patriot Front was created in the aftermath of the deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, and has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Its founder, Thomas Rousseau, was among those arrested in Idaho and has been released on bond from the Kootenai County Jail, CNN reported.
Gephardt Daily will update the story as more information is made available.