Antifa member armed with flamethrower ‘entered fetal position and began crying’ during arrest in Green Bay

By John Cody
4 Min Read

Police say that Matthew Banta, a 23-year-old man from Wisconsin, collapsed into the fetal position and began to cry after being arrested armed with a flamethrower and waving an Antifa flag during a Saturday night demonstration.

Banta was one of four individuals walking towards a protest in Green Bay with baseball bats last weekend, with Banta specifically armed with a flamethrower, smoke grenades, and fireworks

After the police chased the known Antifa member down, who has been accused of promoting violence in otherwise peaceful protests, he fell to the ground and curled into the fetus position.

He then began crying, according to ABC2.

Green Bay police stated they were called because of “a whole bunch of white people with sticks, baseball bats and helmets headed towards the police” on Walnut Street near Webster Avenue.

An officer responding to the call described seeing four individuals walking towards the protest with baseball bats. One of the men was wearing a metal helmet, goggles, and military-style gear pouches. In addition, he was carrying an Antifa flag in his hands.

They tried to run away after the officer pulled his car in front of the group. He caught Banta with the Antifa flag, who then “dropped into the fetal position and began crying”.

The policeman denied Banta’s accusations of lying on top of him.

The Antifa supporter is now charged with obstructing an officer and two counts of felony bail jumping. According to the police, he is known as “Commander Red” in militant Antifa circles.

Banta said that he was not planning on inciting a riot even though he had a flamethrower, smoke grenade, and fireworks with him.

Just last month, Banta was charged in Waupaca County with second-degree endangering safety and four other charges, for example, pointing a loaded gun at an officer and kicking another.

“I don’t know who comes to a protest with a baseball bat for anything other than criminal or illegal activity,” said Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith.

“It’s worrisome when people associated with Antifa come here to Green Bay from out of town to protest here or to commit violent acts,” he added.

The three other men who were with Banta were arrested later while trying to break into a house. As the police were taking them into custody, they dropped everything they were carrying and told the police it was all meant for self-defense.

According to Fox 11 News, Banta’s bond was set at $2,500 and has his next scheduled court appearance for Sept. 9.

Title image: Matthew Banta of Neenah, WI, arrest photograph.

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