4 arrested after throwing paint-filled water balloons at protesters outside White House

WASHINGTON — Four protesters were arrested by Secret Service officers Saturday afternoon after they threw water balloons filled with paint to another group of demonstrators on the north side of the White House.

Activist Jovi Val held a rally in support of James Alex Fields, the man who drove his car into a crowd in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the summer of 2017, killing Heather Heyer and injuring a number of other people. Val and his group were holding the rally to support “oppressed conservatives” across the U.S.

Val was speaking to a small crowd Saturday outside the White House when members of an anti-Fascist group threw paint-filled water balloons at him and started to run away.

Four members of the counter-protester group were caught and arrested by Secret Service officers. The incident resulted in a call to D.C.’s police and fire departments, who came to identify the liquid inside the balloons.

Video taken by news service News2Share shows the confrontation near Lafayette Square.

According to a message sent to WTOP on Saturday night by the Secret Service, the individuals were charged with simple assault and taken to a local police station.

The area on the north side of the White House was closed briefly after the incident.

Fields was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in December, and awaits sentencing this spring. A jury recommended life in prison for Fields, but a judge will decide his fate on March 29.

Editor’s Note: Photo provided by Alejandro Alvarez, who is a digital journalist at WTOP and a producer at News2Share. 

Dan Friedell

Dan Friedell is a digital writer for WTOP. He came to the D.C. area in 2007 to work as digital editor for USATODAY.com, and since then has worked for a number of local and national news organizations.

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