Matthew Banta, a member of ANTIFA, was caught at a protest carrying multiple dangerous weapons, his second offense in just a matter of weeks.
Banta, apparently also known as “Commander Red,” was found in possession of a flamethrower, smoke grenades, and fireworks. He was only charged with obstructing an officer and two counts of felony bail jumping.
Officers say that they were called to the area for “a whole bunch of white people with sticks, baseball bats and helmets headed… towards the police” on Walnut Street Saturday night.
An officer who responded to the scene said that he saw four people walking towards the protest with baseball bats, including Banta, who was wearing a metal helmet, goggle, and military style gear.
The officer pulled his squad car in front of the group, and the ANTIFA members immediately attempted to flee. The officer caught Banta, who instantly “dropped into the fetal position and began crying,” according to the officer. Banta then accused the officer of lying on him, to which the officer responded that nobody was on him.
Banta denied planning to start a riot, but said he was on his way to the Green Bay protest.
“It’s worrisome when people associated with ANTIFA come here to Green Bay from out of town for the purpose of protesting here or for the purposes of committing violent acts,” Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith said.
Banta was given a $2,500 cash bond at his initial court appearance.
Banta’s First Riot Arrest
The two counts of felony bail jumping that Banta was charged with were in relation to a previous arrest in August.
Matthew Banta, a confirmed Wisc. antifa militant, was arrested again on 29 Aug at a riot in Green Bay. Banta already has other charges related to when he recently pointed his loaded rifle at a cop & fought him. He was arrested on Saturday w/an antifa flag. https://t.co/ItIlyWyHOk https://t.co/GWta1UvQ2Q pic.twitter.com/868LT5Nt2e
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) September 1, 2020
At a riot in Waupaca, Wisconsin in early August, the ANTIFA ‘leader’ was arrested for pointed a loaded rifle at a police officer, then biting and kicking the officer when he attempted to detain him. According to the arrest report, there was a bullet in the chamber of the rifle, and Banta also had 117 rounds of ammunition, along with an 8-inch knife in a sheath on Banta’s waist.
Banta was charged with:
- 2nd degree recklessly endangering, use of a dangerous weapon (pointing a loaded firearm at an officer)
- battery to a law enforcement officer (kicking an officer)
- battery to a law enforcement officer, use of a dangerous weapon (biting an officer)
- disorderly conduct, use of a dangerous weapon
- resisting an officer, use of a dangerous weapon
According to the officer on the scene, he originally stopped a group of protesters to warn them to stay out of the road, and to stop obstructing traffic. Forty minutes later, the officer was called to the scene because the protesters were once again in the road.
The officer warned them again, citing his previous discussion with them. The protesters moved to the side of the road for a moment, then immediately moved back into the street. The officer then began asking for their identification, but the protesters did not comply.
Banta, carrying a rifle, reportedly told the officer, “You can do what you want, but we are going to continue to march.” Upon hearing this, the officer told him that if he did not comply with the order to get out of the street, he would be arrested.
The officer then attempted to arrest Banta, which was when he began raising his rifle toward the officer. He fell back, and began kicking at the officer. According to the officer, Banta then tried to stand up and “he again began raising his rifle toward” him.
The ANTIFA ‘leader’ was then thrown onto the ground, where the officer held him. The gun was underneath Banta, and he was still attempting to move it, seemingly to aim at the officer. When the officer reached for the gun, Banta bit him.
Finally, they were able to get Banta in cuffs, and brought him to jail. His initial court appearance was August 3rd, where his cash bond was set at $10,000. It was posted a few days later. A condition of his bail was to not be in possession of any weapons.
It seems that the main problem in these riot-filled cities is that they are releasing these dangerous ANTIFA criminals on relatively low bail. They are then free to go back out and commit more crimes. When are these Democrat-run cities going to stop encouraging this lawlessness?