Footage shows Fresno, California City Council President Miguel Arias assaulting multiple individuals protesting the city’s “stay-at-home” order.
The group Frontline America showed up outside Arias’ apartment on Tuesday to ask if he had a comment for businesses he’s destroying with unconstitutional decrees.
At the beginning of the following video, Arias is seen shoving activist Ben Bergquam, a frequent Infowars guest, and smacking a phone out of another man’s hands.
A scuffle between Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias and conservative activist Ben Bergquam was caught on camera earlier today.
Police officers are now being placed outside the homes of other councilmembers as a precaution.
(Video: James H.) pic.twitter.com/KipQmCymIq
— FOX26 News (@KMPHFOX26) May 13, 2020
“Get out of my house. My kids are here, you don’t come to my house,” Arias said as he shoved the two men at the top of a flight of stairs.
However, the men were clearly standing several feet from the city councilman’s door.
Following the incident, police were called and Arias falsely claimed the protesters tried to gain entry to his house.
Next, Fresno PD announced they cited Arias with 3 counts of assault on behalf of three of Frontline America demonstrators.
“Police say after reviewing the evidence and consulting with the city attorneys office- they facilitated citizen’s arrest citations on behalf of three victims,” a Twitter post reads.
BREAKING: Fresno City Councilmember @MiguelArias_D3 has been cited for 3 counts of assault. Police say after reviewing the evidence and consulting with the city attorneys office- they facilitated citizen’s arrest citations on behalf of three victims.
— Sontaya Rose (@SontayaRose) May 13, 2020
All members of the Fresno City Council had officers sent to their homes and some of the council spoke out about the confrontation on social media.
“I can’t even begin to express the outrage I feel regarding this incident,” Councilmember Garry Bredefeld wrote on Facebook. “This is completely unacceptable and should never happen. While we can have disagreements politically and express different points of view, it completely crosses the line of safety, decency, and respect of personal and family boundaries. If any crimes were committed by these individuals, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This disturbing and outrageous incident must never, ever happen again!”
Another councilmember, Luis Chavez, said, “As a councilmember that has been publicly threatened before, I take these threats very seriously and that’s why I have a concealed carry weapons permit. I will not tolerate anyone threatening me or my family.”
Arias told the Fresno Bee, “They went from making a political statement to physically threatening the safety of my own family, and that was not going to be tolerated.”
He continued, saying, “I escorted them down the stairs and they’re claiming I assaulted them, but I stand behind my actions,” and noted that some of the group members are “known Second Amendment activists,” which he called a threat.
Showing the proper way to deal with aggravated constituents, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said, “A group of 20-25 people protesting the city’s shelter in place orders came to my house this evening. When they arrived, I went out to answer their questions and we had a peaceful discussion on my sidewalk.”
“After 10 minutes, they left and I went back inside. I’m willing to talk with anybody who wants to have a civil conversation about the best way to keep our city safe and healthy,” he concluded.
One of the men who was assaulted spoke with Fox 26 News about the incident:
LIVE: @MarieEdinger is speaking with a man who was involved in the incident between Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias and conservative activist Ben Bergquam earlier today.https://t.co/8REy99yzhP https://t.co/eyqIUQxRgU
— FOX26 News (@KMPHFOX26) May 13, 2020
Frontline America posted a video providing more context:
This incident comes just days after a Fresno police officer assaulted a woman demonstrating in support of a restaurant that reopened for Mother’s Day.