One of the most prominent neo-Nazis in America was booked into a Kentucky jail Tuesday on charges linked to an attack on a black woman at a Trump rally two years ago.
Matthew Heimbach, 27, leader of the now-defunct Traditionalist Worker Party and a prominent figure at Charlottesville, will spend the next 38 days in Louisville Metropolitan Jail for violating the terms of his probation.
Heimbach was caught on camera shoving Kashiya Nwanguma and two other protesters at a Trump rally at the Kentucky Convention Center in March 2016. He was charged with misdemeanor harassment, which was later downgraded to second-degree disorderly conduct. In his defense at the time, Heimbach said he was simply respecting then-candidate Donald Trump’s authority, which was to “Get ’em out of here.” He pleaded guilty last June, paid a small fine, and was released on the condition that he undergo anger management classes and stay out of trouble for two years.
But the neo-Nazi thought leader, who was front and center in the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August, has had a hard time staying out of trouble.
In March, a family love triangle led to the implosion of the Traditionalist Worker Party, which Heimbach ran alongside Matt Parrott, stepfather of his wife Brooke Heimbach. As it turned out, Heimbach was sleeping with Parrott’s wife. Brooke and Parrott caught their spouses having sex in a trailer in Paoli, Indiana. Heimbach assaulted his own wife and choked Parrott until he was unconscious. He was arrested on domestic battery charges and released on bond. Days later, Parrott resigned from his position with the Party, which boasted about 100 members. “I’m done. I’m out,” Parrott told the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Matt Parrott is out of the game. Y’all have a nice life.” Parrott also shut down websites for the organization. Heimbach has since tried to start up a new group called “Nationalist Initiative.”
Heimbach’s actions violated the terms of his probation, and charges in the domestic battery case are pending. Meanwhile, Brooke Heimbach filed for divorce in April.
Heimbach was also a lead organizer behind a “White Lives Matter” neo-nazi rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee, last October. Heimbach and his cohort, mostly young white men, arrived clad in black, toting shields and helmets. Police succeeded in keeping the neo-Nazi contingent separate from protesters. Later in the day, at a restaurant just outside Nashville, Heimbach and his cohort were filmed assaulting an interracial couple.
Heimbach isn’t the only white nationalist who’s had a bad year. Richard Spencer, leader of the khaki-clad and collared-shirt contingent of the alt-right, lost his lawyer, cancelled his speaking tour, got kicked off Facebook, lost his website host, is facing a slew of lawsuits linked to his role in Charlottesville, and recently had his card declined when trying to pay for a $4.25 drink at a bar. Meanwhile white nationalist Jason Kessler is tirelessly fighting to obtain a permit for a second Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville this summer. Unfortunately for Kessler, not many white nationalist leaders even want another Charlottesville rally. Infighting, lawsuits, criminal charges and other fallouts from Charlottesville has caused other parts of the so-called alt right to splinter.