By Bill Parry
A Jackson Heights man was among three people who turned themselves into the NYPD Monday for allegedly taking part in a brutal conflict between the far-right group Proud Boys and left-wing protesters on the Upper East Side.
Irvin Antillon, 41, was arrested and charged with riot and assault for his role in the Oct. 12 beat down that took place just blocks away from the Metropolitan Republican Club following a speech by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.
Antillon is a member of the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights which is identified as a “tactical defense arm” of the Proud Boys, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The notion that Antillon, who was present at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, lives on 34th Avenue near Travers Park in his Jackson Heights neighborhood, angered City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights).
“It is sickening to learn that an alleged member of the Proud Boys is a resident of Jackson Heights, a neighborhood known worldwide for its acceptance of diversity,” Dromm said in a statement. “I condemn the Proud Boys’ fascist, sexist far-right agenda and say they have no place in the neighborhood. As an out gay elected official, I stand up to protect our neighborhood from the destruction that this organization is attempting to impose on our country and our community. Jackson Heights residents value our long tradition of being a place that is welcoming of everyone.”
There have now been five men affiliated with the Proud Boys be arrested in the last two weeks in connection with brawl. Critics of the NYPD’s response had charged that officers from the NYPD observed the brawl but mad no arrests at the time.
City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) was the first to criticize the NYPD for its lack of response.
“It is revolting to see white supremacists commit a hate crime on the streets of New York City — in full view of the NYPD — and for none of them to be arrested and prosecuted. We have seen this in other cities, but it is shocking to see it here,” he said Oct. 13.
Additionally, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice must convene a task force including the NYPD, the District Attorneys, and other relevant agencies and offices, to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat white supremacist violence in our City and ensure that what we saw on the streets of New York never happens again,” Lancman added.
On his weekly radio appearance on WNYC last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about the incident.
“The NYPD has been clear they should have done more follow up around the surrounding area where people dispersed to,” de Blasio said. “To make sure there was no violence and that will the protocol going forward.”
Douglas Lennan, 40, of Northport, Long Island and Maxwell Hare, 26, of Harrisburg, Pa., were also arrested Monday, police said.
“I would anticipate further arrests,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Monday afternoon in Ridgewood.
Additional reporting by Mark Hallum
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr