FULLERTON, Calif. – The Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) has charged seven counter protesters for attacking members of a white supremacist organization during a protest rally in Pearson Park in Anaheim, after an extensive and thorough review of the evidence submitted by the Anaheim Police Department (APD). APD conducted an extensive and thorough investigation and provided videos and hundreds of photographs to the OCDA.
There is still one counter protester suspect in a blue shirt that has yet to be identified and is being sought for kicking one of the victims in the head. Law enforcement is seeking the public's help in identifying that suspect and photos of him are below.
“This case is not about who was holding the protest rally, their racist message, or who was counter protesting. This is about the mob mentality turning violent, which shut down neighboring streets, access to the park, and endangered the community as a whole,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Our office does not condone any message of hate, mob violence, or vigilante justice.”
The seven defendants were charged today, June 30, 2016, with the following:
|Hugo Contreras, 39, Hawthorne||One misdemeanor count of battery and one misdemeanor count of resisting or delaying a peace officer||One year and six months in jail and a $3,000 fine|
|Randy Felder, 26, Lakewood||One misdemeanor count of battery and one misdemeanor count of assault||One year in jail and a $3,000 fine|
|Guy Harris, 20, Anaheim||One misdemeanor count of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury||One year in jail and a $10,000 fine|
|Mark Liddell, 26, Los Angeles||One misdemeanor count of battery and one misdemeanor count of resisting or delaying a peace officer||One year and six months in jail and a $3,000 fine|
|Armando Ortiz, 22, Santa Ana||One misdemeanor count of battery, one misdemeanor count of assault, and one misdemeanor count of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury||Two years in jail and a $13,000 fine|
|Nicole Schop, 34, Los Angeles||One misdemeanor count of battery and one misdemeanor count of resisting or delaying a peace officer||One year and six months in jail and a $3,000 fine|
|Alexis Solis, 23, transient||One misdemeanor count of battery and one vehicle code violation for throwing a substance at a vehicle||One year and six months in jail and a $3,000 fine|
Contreras, Felder, Liddell, and Schop are scheduled to be arraigned on July 28, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in Department N-8, North Justice Center, Fullerton. An arrest warrant has been issued for Harris, Ortiz, and Solis.
Circumstances of the Case
Prior to the incident, a white supremacist organization with a chapter in Orange County announced that they were holding a protest rally at Pearson Park sometime on Feb. 27, 2016. The announcement was reported in the media and the rally was promoted on social media.
On the morning of Feb. 27, 2016, a group of more than 50 counter protesters congregated in Pearson Park in anticipation of the white supremacist members expected to arrive for the rally. Shortly thereafter, seven white supremacist group members arrived in two vehicles, including an SUV, and were immediately surrounded by the counter protesters.
As the white supremacist members exited the vehicle, Solis is accused of throwing a glass bottle at the SUV and striking the window of the vehicle. While the white supremacist members went to the back of the SUV to take their signs out, Ortiz is accused of assaulting Steven O., pushing him to the ground, and kicking at the victim. Solis is accused of then running toward where Steven O. was on the ground and punching the victim in the head. Ortiz is accused of turning toward Charles D. in an aggressive fighting stance. Charles D. was holding a small pocket knife but did not advance toward Ortiz, who is accused of then rushing at Charles D., prompting the victim to back up before being assaulted by Ortiz. Harris is accused of joining Ortiz in assaulting Charles D., and both Harris and Ortiz are accused of striking Charles D.in the head multiple times. Charles D. then stabbed Ortiz once under the armpit in self-defense. Harris is accused of wrestling Charles D. to the ground and received a cut to his arm in the process of trying to take the knife away from the victim. Charles D. was able to get away from Harris and moved to the other side of the SUV. While walking on that side of the SUV, an unidentified suspect in the blue shirt is accused of running up to Charles D. and punching him in the head.
While the counter protesters screamed at William H., the victim was backed up against the SUV and used the flagpole in his hands to keep the mob at bay. Felder is accused of picking up a sign with a wooden post and throwing it at William H., who blocked it with the flagpole. The driver of the SUV then drove off, leaving members of the white supremacist group at the scene.
William H. chased after the SUV while the mob of counter protesters pursued him. Felder is accused of catching up to William H. and pushing him to the ground. As the mob surrounded William H., the same unidentified suspect in the blue shirt is accused of running up to the victim and kicking him in the head. A Good Samaritan intervened and tried to get William H. to safety.
At that time, uniformed APD officers arrived and began assisting plainclothes officers who were already at the scene. The officers immediately began rendering medical aid to injured victims, arresting those engaged in assaults, and securing the crime scenes. While a white supremacist member, Richard W., walked away toward another vehicle to retrieve something, Liddell is accused of approaching him and punching the victim in the head, knocking him to the ground. Schop and Contreras are accused of running up and punching and kicking Richard W. while he was down on the ground. When APD officers ran toward the defendants assaulting Richard W., Contreras, Liddell, and Schop are accused of fleeing on foot and not surrendering to the APD officers, who had to take down the three defendants by force.
The investigation is ongoing and law enforcement is seeking the public's assistance in identifying the suspect who kicked a victim in the head. Anyone with additional information is requested to call OCDA Supervising Investigator Stan Berry, at 714-347-8864, or submit an anonymous tip to OC Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS or at occrimestoppers.org. APD is offering up to $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect in this case.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
*Law enforcement seeking public's help identifying additional counter protester suspect for his role
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 16NM10371 / June 30, 2016