You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Man with alleged ties to antifa arrested on charges of shooting Proud Boy at anti-vaccine protest

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 9/28/2021 Virginia Aabram
© Provided by Washington Examiner

Police arrested a man in connection to the shooting of a member of the Proud Boys during a skirmish between the right-wing group and antifa at an anti-vaccine mandate protest in Olympia, Washington.

Benjamin Anthony Varela, a 36-year-old from Olympia, was arrested on Thursday on the charge of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon.


The clash took place on Sept. 4 when members of the left-wing militant group antifa showed up at the state Capitol to counter-protest a demonstration against vaccine mandates.

The protest’s security included members of the Proud Boys, who chased the counter-protesters away. One of the reported antifa members shot toward the Proud Boys with a handgun, injuring member Tusitala Toese in the ankle. Toese's injury was not life-threatening, and he cooperated with the police investigation, according to local K5 News.

The alleged antifa members were dressed in all-black and had their faces covered, making immediate identification difficult.

Varela has numerous ties to antifa and other far-left, anarchist, and communist organizations, according to journalist Andy Ngo. Ngo said he'd been physically attacked by members of antifa several times for reporting on their activities.

Though Valera deleted most of his social media accounts before he was arrested, his Twitter bio said he is a “professional anarchist, thug, and paid protester.”


Antifa-linked Twitter accounts implied it was one of their own who was responsible for the shooting immediately after it happened.

Varela is being held in Thurston County Jail under $100,000 bail. His arraignment is set for Oct. 5.


Washington Examiner Videos

Replay Video

Tags: News, Antifa, Washington, Vaccination, Gun Violence

Original Author: Virginia Aabram

Original Location: Man with alleged ties to antifa arrested on charges of shooting Proud Boy at anti-vaccine protest


More from Washington Examiner

Washington Examiner
Washington Examiner
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon