Police: 9 arrested after Stone Mountain protest turns physical

Protests shut down Stone Mountain activities

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA. - Police have arrested nine people after a counter protest to a pro-white rally turned physical.

A group called "Rock Stone Mountain" had scheduled a rally at Stone Mountain Saturday morning meant to "protest efforts to erase the white race." But All Out Atlanta, an anti-racism group, organized a counter protest for the same time and location. Both groups had permits from the park and were sanctioned to protest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

VIDEO | Groups hosting competing rallies at St. Mountain

Police had made provisions early on to keep the groups in separate sections of the park to ensure the rallies stayed peaceful, but efforts to do so quickly deteriorated only hours into events.

According to John Bankhead, a spokesman with the Stone Mountain Park Police, nine All Out Atlanta protestors were arrested before noon Saturday. 

Authorities say the protesters were asked to take off masks in compliance with a park ordinance, but when the protesters refused to comply, they were arrested.

On Sunday, police released the names and charges for those nine people:

  • Donald Ragin 25, Charged with Wearing Mask, Hood to Conceal Identity
  • John A. Cubas 26,Charged with Wearing Mask, Hood to Conceal Identity
  • Joshua D. Hughes 25, Charged with Wearing Mask, Hood to Conceal Identity
  • John D. Nicholson 30, Charged with Wearing Mask, Hood to Conceal Identity
  • Joshua Mascharka 23, Charged with Wearing Mask, Hood to Conceal Identity
  • Benjamin S. Passmore 32, Charged with Wearing Mask, Hood to Conceal Identity
  • Anthony J. Argento 23, Charged with Wearing Mask, Hood to Conceal Identity
  • David McCormick 37, Charged with Wearing Mask, Hood to Conceal Identity
  • Joshua T. Taft 21, Charged with Aggravated Assault

Taft appeared before a DeKalb Magistrate Court judge Sunday morning for a first appearance and was granted a $2500 bond. He was the only protester to make a first appearance.

PHOTOS | Mugshots of Stone Mountain protesters

Bankhead said other protesters with All Out Atlanta thew rocks and got physical with law enforcement. Bankhead himself was struck with a rock.

Only 25 to 30 people were present for the Saturday pro-white rally at another site in the park. Authorities planned to keep the two rallies separate, but Bankhead says some of the All Out Atlanta protesters kept trying to get through blocked areas leading to the pro-white rally.

On Saturday afternoon, park authorities closed attractions, like the nightly lasershow, for the remainder of the day, but the main park entrance and walking trail remained open.

Later Saturday afternoon, Stone Mountain Park posted about the protests, warning visitors that the groups were "exercising their First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution."

PHOTOS | Groups hold opposing protests at Stone Mountain

PHOTOS | Mugshot Gallery


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