Proud boys: Police arrest first individual affiliated with far-right group after violent New York event

An alleged member of the far-right Proud Boys has been arrested for rioting and attempted assault, according to police.

Geoffrey Young, 38, was arrested on Thursday by the New York City Police Department in relation to an investigation into a street fight that broke out in Manhattan as people people connected to the Proud Boys were leaving the Metropolitan Republican Club.

A video of the event showed Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes leaving the event with a heavy police presence outside of the building, and dozens of protesters behind a barricade set up across the street.

The Proud Boys are classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, and are self-proclaimed “western chauvinists”. 

The fighting broke out after Mr McInnes departed, and individuals potentially connected to the Proud Boys began leaving the premises. They then proceeded down East 83rd Street before marching down Park Avenue.

Masked protesters reportedly went around the block to confront them, and the opposing sides met on East 82nd Street, yelling.

Police then arrested three protesters, and charged them with assault. Nobody associated with the Proud Boys, however, was arrested, leading to criticism of the NYPD on social media.

But police followed up on Monday with an announcement that they were looking for nine people who are affiliated with the Proud Boys, alongside three anti-fascist protesters. They were wanted on riot and attempted assault charges.

Prior to the event last week, the president of the Metropolitan Republican Club, Deborah Coughlin, reported receiving hostile phone calls from individuals demanding that she cancel the McInnes event. She had contacted police on the day before the event was planned.

Protesters also showed up early on the morning of the event, and glued locks with caulk, threw bricks through windows, and spray painted anti-fascist graffiti on doors.

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