“There wasn’t a special train,” Deputy Chief Warren Donald of Metro Transit police said when asked at a news conference about the incident at the Vienna Metro station.
“What the officers did, they reserved one car to keep the two groups separate … The train made stops on its route to Foggy Bottom, just as it would any other service day, so it wasn’t a special train.”
Around 2 p.m., Jason Kessler and other ralliers gathered at the Vienna Metro station — which temporarily closed down around their arrival time — where they attempted to wait until 3 p.m. for other members of their group to join.
Metro Transit police told Kessler and the group they could not wait for the other ralliers, citing safety issues. The group, police and reporters then boarded one car.
The train stopped, but police told people attempting to get on the car with Kessler and white nationalists to go down to other cars.
Donald said the private car was to avoid violence between white nationalists and counterprotesters.
“We did restrict traffic and we did keep the groups separate,” he said.
When asked about the return trip, Donald said Metro Transit police will handle the situation “similarly,” with separate cars.