A Southern California man has been arrested and charged with assault after displaying a rifle and shouting at a group of protesters who were marching through a neighborhood in San Bernardino County.
According to KABC, 39-year-old Jacob Bracken has been charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon resulting from the incident, which occurred on June 1.
Bracken, who resides in the nearby town of Rancho Cucamonga, California, was at a home in Upland, California, Monday when hundreds of demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis inundated the neighborhood.
In a news release, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office described the protesters as “peaceful,” and Bracken as the aggressor, but video and witness testimony of the incident does not necessarily support that assessment.
Bracken is seen on a now-viral video posted on Twitter taking the weapon from a pickup truck and shouting at the crowd to back away from the home’s driveway.
WARNING: The following video contains explicit language which some viewers will find offensive
The district attorney’s office announced Bracken was arrested and charged shortly after the incident, in which no rounds were fired and no one was injured.
“On June 1, 2020, the Upland Police Department was monitoring a peaceful protest in their city. The police officers were notified by protestors of a potentially life-threatening incident. The officers immediately investigated the incident. Bracken was arrested by the Upland Police Department, and the case was forwarded to our office for filing consideration,” the DA’s office stated in the news release.
Citing a California Penal Code statute, the DA’s office stated Bracken could face up to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine if he is convicted, as California laws classify Bracken’s actions as an assault with a deadly weapon.
“This incident was captured on video by the peaceful protestors who cooperated with law enforcement, which is encouraging to the community. Thankfully, through the restraint of the protestors and the swift investigation by the Upland Police Department, a potential tragedy may have been avoided,” the news release stated.
Upland Police Chief Darren Goodman told KNBC that Bracken’s actions were “unacceptable.”
Citing “the rule of law,” Goodman accused Bracken of taking a “violent position” amid an escalating environment of civil unrest in Southern California and similar upheaval taking place across the country.
Goodman also said that the arrest of Bracken was not intended to make an example of him.
“There’s no attempt to make an example. The example is simply we follow the rule of law and that applies to everybody,” he said.
“I would hope that people could accept difference of opinion and different views without taking a violent position, just like I hope the protesters can learn to continue to be peaceful in their protests and not destroy property,” Goodman said.
But an acquaintance of Bracken, who was not named, told the outlet that he, Bracken and five others were observing the protest and that they feared for their lives.
“The entire crowd essentially rushed us, a lot of madness, I turned around and he had a weapon in his hand,” the man said.
“[It’s] 200 against seven people here. We don’t know where these people came from. They don’t live in Upland. They’re all out-of-towners,” the man told KNBC.
One of the protestors accused Bracken of engaging in “hate and racism” over his pointing of the weapon. The man also claimed that the protest was “peaceful.”
Fox News, however, reported that some of the protestors later threw rocks and bottles at officers, and officers responded by using pepper balls and sting balls to disperse them.
Author: Johnathan Jones
Source: Western Journal: California Man Who Drew AR-15 on Advancing Mob Arrested, Charged with Assault