Antifa Leader Wielding Flamethrower Breaks Down Into Tears During Arrest, Police Say

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Matthew Banta, an Antifa leader known as “Commander Red” reportedly “dropped into the fetal position and began crying” after he was arrested for carrying a flamethrower at a Wisconsin Black Lives Matter rally according to law enforcement officials, the New York Post reported.

Banta, 23, was charged with two counts of felony bail jumping and one count of obstructing an officer in Brown County Circuit Court on Monday, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette. The charges stem from an August 29 criminal complaint filed against Banta that says he is, “a violent Antifa member who incites violence in otherwise peaceful protests.”

The complaint goes on to say Banta was carrying “military grade 5 minute” smoke grenades, firework rockets, a flamethrower, and Antifa stickers on his person and in his bags, the New York Post reports.

The complaint alleges that Banta was among “a whole bunch of white people with sticks, baseball bats and helmets” when cops stopped him. After a police officer blocked the group with his squad car, Banta’s comrades ran away, but Banta “dropped into the fetal position and began crying,” according to the police report. (RELATED: Suspect In Fatal Portland Shooting Has Pending Gun Charges, Expressed Support For Antifa)

Banta says police officers jumped on top of him, but police deny this allegation, per WBAY.

The others fled when a cop blocked them with his squad car, but Banta was stopped and “dropped into the fetal position and began crying,” the police report said. He complained that the officer got on top of him, though police denied this accusation, WBAY reported.

Banta was out on bail during the time of his arrest thanks to a $10,000 cash bond, per the New York Post. The earlier charge claims Banta bit and kicked an officer, and pointed a loaded rifle at another, during an August demonstration in Waupaca County, the New York Post reports.

Banta is scheduled to return to court in Brown County next Wednesday; his bail was set at $2,500, according to the New York Post.