KKK leader denied bail for firing weapon at Charlottesville rally

Posted at 6:44 PM, Oct 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 18:44:38-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A Ku Klux Klan leader charged with firing a gun during the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August has been denied bail.

Richard Wilson Preston, 52, was arrested following the release of a video, filmed by the ACLU of Virginia, that allegedly shows him in a verbal altercation with counterprotesters. In the video, counterprotesters appear to throw objects at right-wing marchers.

Richard Wilson Preston

After several seconds, the man in the video, who is wearing a load-bearing vest, with a pistol on one leg and extra magazines on the other, turns away from the argument and walks away. Before reaching the edge of the frame, he turns back, drawing a pistol and shouting “Hey, n****r.”

The man then fired a shot, before turning around, holstering his weapon, and rejoining the march.

Preston was charged with discharging a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school.

The Baltimore man told a Charlottesville judge that he acted in self-defense. He said that he fired the shot after a friend was threatened by someone holding a makeshift flamethrower, the Daily Progress reports.

Preston will remain in the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail pending a December hearing.

The CNN Wire contributed to this article. 

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers are Working For You.

Contact the CBS 6 Problem Solvers

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.