Former Berkeley Top Dog employee arrested for alleged Charlottesville rally violence

Four Californians — including former Berkeley Top Dog employee Cole White — have been arrested for their alleged violent participation in the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally in August 2017.

The involvement of the four men in the Charlottesville protests was investigated by the FBI and the Virginia State Police. All four men have been charged with conspiracy and violation of the federal riot statute

According to a Department of Justice press release, White — along with Benjamin Daley, Thomas Gillen and Michael Miselis — traveled to Charlottesville from the West Coast with the intent to incite and commit “violent acts in furtherance of a riot.” They allegedly took part in an unauthorized torchlit march at the University of Virginia and seriously injured counterprotesters at the rally the next day.

The four men are a part of the Rise Above Movement, described by FBI officer Dino Cappuzzo’s affidavit filed in federal court Tuesday as a “militant white-supremacist organization” based in Southern California. Cappuzzo wrote that the four men also allegedly participated in violence at other political rallies, such as the Berkeley “Free Speech” rally in April 2017.

White resigned from his job at Top Dog on Durant Avenue after being publicly identified as an attendee of the “Unite the Right” rally. Top Dog released a statement distancing itself from the protesters’ actions in Charlottesville.


Sophia Brown-Heidenreich is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sophiabrownh.