White Nationalist Punched During DC Interview
217 arrested during inauguration protests
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2017 6:51 AM CST

(Newser) – Inauguration Day did not go well for prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer. He was speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation near Donald Trump's inauguration about his Pepe the Frog pin and whether or not he is a neo-Nazi when a masked person ran up and punched him in the face before fleeing. "It was absolutely terrible," Spencer told CNN hours later. "I've certainly never had this happen before—a sucker punch in broad daylight." Spencer, who was filmed shouting "Hail Trump" as people gave Nazi salutes at an "alt-right" event in November, says he is now considering getting security, USA Today reports. He says he called 911 after the punch and is going to file a police report over the "totally unacceptable" incident.

Police say many of Friday's protests across the capital remained peaceful, but at least 217 people were arrested for rioting after confrontations downtown. Pepper spray and concussion grenades were used against protesters during sporadic clashes. "They began to destroy property, throw objects at people, through windows. A large percentage of this small group was armed with crowbars and hammers," interim police chief, Peter Newsham tells the AP. There were no major incidents involving the inaugural balls, NBC reports, though a limousine at the edge of the secure zone was set on fire before nightfall, sending a plume of smoke into the sky. Officials say the limo fire also ignited a Fox News SUV.

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