Baltimore man among 3 more charged in Charlottesville, Va., white supremacist rally

Associated Press

A 52-year-old Baltimore man has been arrested and charged with firing a gun at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month.

Richard Wilson Preston was arrested Saturday in Maryland and charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school during the Aug. 12 rally, Charlottesville police said. Preston fired a gun in the 100 block of West Market Street, police said in a news release.

Court records list his address in the 5800 block of Cedonia Ave. in the Northeast Baltimore neighborhood of Cedmont. He was identified in news reports as imperial wizard of a Ku Klux Klan chapter in Maryland.

In 2013, a man named Richard Preston who identified himself as imperial wizard of the Baltimore-area Confederate White Knights told The Baltimore Sun that the organization was not racist at its origins, saying that it lost its way during the civil rights era of the 1960s.

"There was a lot of conflict,” he said. “It gave the Klan a very bad name."

Preston was arrested Saturday on a fugitive warrant issued in Virginia. He was being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center. Nobody answered the door at his home Sunday. There was no lawyer listed for him in Maryland online court records.

The ACLU of Virginia posted a video that it said showed a man firing at another person at the Aug. 12 Charlottesville rally. The group tweeted Saturday that the man had been arrested and charged with a crime, but did not identify him.

The ACLU said staff members discovered the footage during a routine review of photos and videos from the rally. The group said it handed the video to the FBI on Aug. 17 and gave copies to Virginia State Police and Charlottesville police a few days later.

The ACLU of Virginia could not be reached for further comment Sunday.

On Sunday, the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore sent an email to its community saying Preston was a maintenance worker at the school from 1996-2001.

"Though his employment was in the distant past, we are deeply disturbed by Mr. Preston’s alleged actions and associations. Hatred and racism are completely antithetical to our values," the school said in the email. "We stand united against bigotry, prejudice and violence of any kind."

Charlottesville police said two more men have been arrested in connection with the rally. Daniel Patrick Borden, 18, was charged with malicious wounding and is in custody in Cincinnati. Alex Michael Ramos was charged with malicious wounding. His last known residence was Marietta, Ga.

Police also said Saturday they have now identified 35 people who were injured when a car plowed into a crowd on Aug. 12, killing a woman.

James Alex Fields Jr. faces second-degree murder charges for allegedly driving a car into counter-protesters and killing Heather Heyer. He has been in custody since the day of the rally.

Baltimore Sun reporters Alison Knezevich and Talia Richman contributed to this article.

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