3 men charged in connection with violence at Berkeley ‘Free Speech Rally’

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Four more people have been charged in connection with violence at political rallies, three of whom for involvement in attacks that occurred during the April 2017 Berkeley “Free Speech Rally,” according to a Department of Justice, or DOJ, press release.

The four suspects — Robert Rundo, Robert Boman, Tyler Laube and Aaron Eason — are charged with violating the federal conspiracy and riots statutes. They allegedly used the internet in order to organize and promote rioting in Huntington Beach, Berkeley, San Bernardino and Charlottesville. They are also allegedly members of the white supremacist group Rise Above Movement, or RAM, based in Southern California.

Rundo is allegedly the founder of RAM and was detained after fleeing to Central America. Boman and Laube were detained Wednesday morning. Only Eason is still being sought by law enforcement, according to the DOJ press release.

Among the charges against the four men, Rundo, Boman and Eason are accused of involvement in violent attacks during the April 15, 2017, Berkeley rally, which resulted in the punching of a “defenseless person” and a Berkeley Police Department officer, according to the DOJ press release.

The case is currently under investigation by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. If found guilty, the defendants would face maximum prison sentences of 10 years.

This latest set of charges comes in the wake of the arrests of four other alleged Rise Above Movement members — including former Berkeley Top Dog employee Cole White — who were detained for allegedly inciting violence and conspiring against the United States in their participation at the Charlottesville rally in 2017.

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