PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — A Philadelphia man has been charged with assault and recklessly endangering another person for allegedly knocking over a Black Lives Matter protester and beating him during protests last summer.
Richard “Richie” Goodwin, 45, was arrested Wednesday, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office announced in a news release. The arrest comes more than a year after the encounter between people protesting racial injustice and police brutality and a group of mostly white, male residents wielding hatchets, baseball bats and golf clubs in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia.READ MORE: Southwest Philadelphia Block Renamed After Rev. Paul 'Earthquake' Moore
The encounter on June 1, 2020, during the protests that followed George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis drew national attention as videos and photos of the vigilante group taking selfies with officers, being thanked by some police and delivering pizza to the station went viral. The group claimed to be protecting the 26th District police station, and the officers and police department leadership faced stiff criticism over the lack of reaction to the armed group.
“Our investigation has identified Richie Goodwin as the individual responsible for violently throwing a person off his bike and onto the ground, and repeatedly punching him in the head until his ear and face bled. The apparent provocation for this violent crime was that the victim — heading home after being teargassed alongside hundreds of civilians by Philadelphia Police on I-676 — had thrown his fist up in solidarity with fellow Black Lives Matter supporters in his community,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “Just as our city and nation continue to reckon with systemic racism and injustice, the Philadelphia DA’s office continues to investigate incidents of property destruction, burglary, harassment, and violence that occurred during the historic uprisings of 2020. We will not tolerate violence in the name of movement protest or in the name of ‘protecting’ the police.”
Several violent altercations broke out between the vigilantes and protesters. Prosecutors allege Goodwin, whose brother is a police officer at the station, knocked over a man riding his bicycle through the gathering who had pumped his fist in support of Black Lives Matter protesters.READ MORE: Commuters Make Backup Plans Ahead Of SEPTA Strike Vote
Prosecutors say other members of the mob threw bottles and verbal threats at the man before Goodwin knocked him down and began hitting him.
Court records did not show any attorney information for Goodwin Wednesday afternoon.
In June of last year, prosecutors charged George Graf, 37, with aggravated assault for allegedly attacking a WHYY reporter and his girlfriend during the encounter.MORE NEWS: Camden County Voters Trickle In As New Jersey Starts Early Voting For The First Time
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