Internet sleuths track down another bad penny from Charlottesville
Journalist Shaun King leads effort to identify skinhead shown on video throwing punches who is now behind bars.
The long arm of the Internet finally caught up with Dennis Mothersbaugh.
Roaming the scene in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the violent “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, the 33-year-old skinhead with a long rap sheet apparently felt anonymous enough to begin punching some of the counter-protesters who showed up to oppose him and his fellow white nationalists.
Video recorded at the protest showed the man lashing out and hitting first one protester as he came down a set of stairs, and then moments later punching a woman protester directly in the face, knocking her to the ground. He then was quickly surrounded by men defending the victim, and he walked away.
That recording, however, created the impetus for a search by Internet sleuths to unearth his identity. Led by Brooklyn-based freelance journalist Shaun King, the activists in short order figured out his identity in large part because of the unique tattoo on Mothersbaugh’s head, a quote from rock star Kurt Cobain which reads: “I am rather hated for who I am, than loved for something I’m not.”
Mothersbaugh, who currently resides in rural North Vernon, Indiana, has a long and violent record from the 2000s, when he resided in the Portland, Oregon, vicinity. Among his more noteworthy arrests was a 2005 bust in suburban Gresham for threatening three African-American men and attempting to assault them, as well as a previous 2003 for an assault on a black man.
He also sports a number of other tattoos indicating his membership in the Hammerskins skinhead organization, as well as the Inland Empire neo-Nazi prison gang.
Now Mothersbaugh is behind bars. Once identified, police in Charlottesville issued a warrant for his arrest on assault charges. Police in Indiana were notified, and once Charlottesville police issued a request for extradition, Mothersbaugh was arrested at his home by deputies.
According to a news release, he was being held in the Jennings County Jail. He will be extradited to the Charlottesville/Abemarle Regional Jail "in the near future.”
King has led previous successful efforts to identify the violent white supremacists involved in criminal assaults on people at Charlottesville, including the four men who attacked an African-American man, Deandre Harris, at a parking garage.
King thanked his readers on social media. “You helped make that happen. We identified him. Charlottesville issued the arrest warrant. The police in his hometown, who've been great by the way, wanted to arrest him, but Charlottesville had to request extradition.
“Well, they just did, and he is now in custody. He is the third white supremacist from Charlottesville that we have identified and lobbied for an arrest. Your hard work is paying off.”