Vernon man to be extradited to Virginia to face Charlottesville assault charge

NORTH VERNON — A Vernon man has been arrested and will be extradited to Charlottesville, Virginia, to face an assault-and-battery charge stemming from clashes between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators in August.

Dennis L. Mothersbaugh, 37, of 2005 N. County Road 175E, was arrested at his home early Thursday afternoon by Jennings County Sheriff’s deputies and North Vernon police, Jennings County Sheriff Gary Driver┬ásaid.

The Virginia warrant for Mothersbaugh was issued after cell phone video from the Charlottesville clashes surfaced on social media showed him marching with white supremacists and punching two people who were protesting. Mothersbaugh is accused of being with a group protesting over the scheduled removal of a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue from a Charlottesville park.

The video shows a man identified as Mothersbaugh first punching an unidentified man, and then punching a woman directly in the face with his fist as he is accosted verbally by the counter-demonstrators. Allegations made about the incident include that Mothersbaugh was wearing weighted gloves when he hit the woman in the face.

The Jennings County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the warrant for Mothersbaugh’s arrest had been pending since Sept. 18, but deputies could not and did not arrest him then because Charlottesville had not requested that Mothersbaugh be extradited back to Virginia. If deputies had arrested Mothersbaugh when the warrant was first issued, nothing would have happened, because Charlottesville would not come and get him, said Lt. Mike Mowery, Jennings County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

The warrant was reissued on Thursday with Charlottesville police signing orders that they would extradite Mothersbaugh to face the assault and battery charge, Driver said, which led to the arrest.

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.