Police have arrested 11 people — including two Asheville residents — for vandalism to several businesses and cars last night. Two of the alleged vandals have connections with anarchist groups, but at this time, it’s not clear what the message or protest was behind their actions.
Last night around 10:45 p.m., vandals shattered glass at several businesses around the Battery Park Avenue area, including the Eye Center, Bella’s, the Asheville Citizen-Times, the entrance to the Grove Arcade, Cucina 24, an RBC Centura ATM and the glass etching landmark across the street from the Arcade. Several cars in the area were also damaged. Reports at the time described around 20 people wearing dark clothing, breaking windows.
“The subjects were wearing masks and face coverings and are estimated to have damaged at least eight vehicles and five businesses,” an announcement from the Asheville Police Department reads. “Officers from all districts responded, as well as a K-9 unit and Forensics staff.”
So far, 11 people have been arrested by the APD. Most are from outside the Asheville area. They are:
Jordan M. Ferrand-Sapsis, 24, of Oklahoma City, Okla.; Naomi Rachel Ullian, 26, of West Chestnut St. Asheville; Marshall Rogers Tingler, 24, of Oklahoma City ; Daniel Heinz Regenfcheit, 26, of Carrboro; Karen Leigh Alderser, 19, of Carrboro.; Alissa Marie Batzold, 18, of Carrboro; Havely Carolyn Carsky, 23, of Meadow Lake Road, Asheville; Randall Duncan Stezer, 17, of Graham; Wyatt Sherman Allgeier, 19, of Mount Pleasant; Cailin Elizabeth Major, 25, of Milwaukee, Wis. ; and Nicholas Ryan Entwistle, 19, of Kansas City, Mo.
All face seven counts of injury to personal property and three counts of personal injury to real property. Tingler faces an additional count of injury to personal property. The APD announcement indicates that more charges are pending.
So far, none of those accused have been released from the Buncombe County Detention Facility, where they are being held under a $10,000 bond (except for Tingler, whose bond is $11,000). Barring their release, their first court appearance is tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. Currently, their court date is set for June 8.
May 1 is commonly a day for political protest, but it’s not immediately clear what — if any — was the specific message behind the damage. Two of those charged, Major and Ferrand-Sapsis, have connections with anarchist groups. In 2008, Major was involved in a Michigan court case as a part of a 2008 protest by Bash Back!. Ferrand-Sapsis has been involved in activities with Kansas Mutual Aid.
If the vandalism is tied to anarchist groups, it might not be the first time. Last year, after May Day, an announcement on the Anarchist News website claimed that a downtown building was “occupied” by 150-200 people and, when that was dispersed “the rowdy party snaked through the city draging [sic] things into the street and throwing shit at stuff we hate (banks, development firms and yes, even those fucking bourgeois-ass “local businesses”). Cry about it liberal.”
Many of the arrested were college students. Stezer attends Alamance Community College, Allgeier and Alderser go to UNC Chapel Hill, Ullian go to Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt., and Carsky is a senior biology major at UNCA.
As of this morning, most of the broken windows have been boarded up and the shattered glass removed. The Grove Arcade was open, though the ATM remains out of order.
Below is a video of last night’s damage, from Asheville Video.
— David Forbes, senior reporter