“Crying Nazi” Christopher Cantwell, 37, pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of assault and battery for using pepper spray on counterprotesters during the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, last year.
Counterprotester Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in the two-day protests when white terrorist James Alex Fields Jr., then 20, drove his car into a crowd, injuring dozens in addition to killing Heyer. Fields has since been indicted on 30 charges, including a federal hate crime charge.
Cantwell was sentenced to two concurrent jail terms of 12 months for a pepper spray attack on two counterprotesters on Aug. 11, 2017, at the Thomas Jefferson statue at the University of Virginia. All but seven months of that sentence were suspended, The Washington Post reported. Cantwell will serve no additional time over the incident. However, Virginia booted him from the state for at least five years, ordering him to leave within eight hours of the end of the hearing. He also was fined $250.
“This outcome brings a measure of finality to the defendant’s dispersal of pepper spray nearly a year ago,” Albemarle Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Tracci said, according to the Post. “This agreement was supported by the victims in this case, who have been consulted at each stage of the criminal process.”
Cantwell became known as the Crying Nazi after he filmed himself sobbing last year while saying he feared for his life. The irony of the weeping white supremacist was lost on no one, as Cantwell had earlier talked a tough game in a Vice News/HBO documentary about the rally.
In that documentary, Cantwell had threatened to kill counterprotesters. He also brandished high-powered rifles and a 9mm pistol. At a tiki torch rally where he attacked the two plaintiffs, Cantwell and others had chanted, “Jews will not replace us!”
But when he found out there likely was a warrant out for his arrest, he cried openly on camera, saying, “I don’t know what to do.”
Later, Cantwell turned himself over to police. He spent 3½ months behind bars before paying a bond to be released, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The Crying Nazi’s embarrassment didn’t end with his tears, though. Cantwell got booted from the online dating site OkCupid, which was kind of a big deal for him, because he fashioned himself a type of dating “expert,” having written online dating tips posted to his own website. Cantwell also saw his Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts deleted in the wake of the Charlottesville tragedy.