Two teens accused of confronting demonstrators advocating for the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom in Southern California have been charged in connection to a violent altercation, authorities said.
A group of about 50 President Trump supporters with Unite 911 were holding a rally in Palm Springs on Sunday before the altercation involving two juveniles, ages 13 and 15, said Lt. William Hutchinson of the Palm Springs police.
Rally organizer Toni Ringlein told Fox News a car drove by the group gathered on a sidewalk and those inside began yelling obscenities at them.
“Our practice is not to engage with any opposition or anybody that’s trying to cause trouble,” Ringlein said.
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She said the car pulled into a parking lot near the rally, and the boys inside ran through the crowd and punched several people, she said.
“During the altercation, a member of the rally witnessed the altercation, and then witnessed a 15-year-old and 13-year-old juvenile assault another member of the rally,” police said. “The witness who caught up to the juveniles told the juveniles the police were on their way, and at that point, one of the juveniles swung at the witness’s head to hit him.”
The witness chased the boy close to a chain home improvement store. At that point, the teen allegedly struck the witness on the back of the head multiple times with an airsoft pistol, police said.
The witness, who had minor injuries, knocked the pistol from the boy’s hands and held him until authorities arrived. Other protesters also had minor injuries, Ringlein said.
The 15-year-old was allegedly found with a 30-round magazine for a 9-millimeter Glock, police said. He did not have a gun. He was released to his parents and is expected to be charged with possession of a high capacity magazine, police said.
The 13-year-old was arrested, and charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of battery with serious bodily injury. The teen was taken juvenile hall, police said.
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Ringlein said her group began holding rallies in June to advocate for a recall of Newsom, a Democrat, because of California’s high taxes, homeless crisis and mandates related to the coronavirus pandemic. Until Sunday, the group never encountered violence.
Two more rallies are planned ahead of the Nov.3 election.
“And after the election, we’re canceling them so we don’t encounter any more trouble,” Ringlein said.