3 men arrested in Charlottesville ahead of ‘Unite the Right’ rally anniversary

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Three men have been arrested in Charlottesville on Saturday as the city braces for the one-year anniversary of the deadly "Unite the Right" rally on Sunday.

Charlottesville officials said that as of 4:30 p.m. on Saturday three men were arrested "inside and in proximity to the security area in downtown Charlottesville."

 Cain, Miska, Hawkins

Cain, Miska, Hawkins

  1. Algenon Franklin Cain, 28, of Red Springs, N.C. was arrested for trespassing on two separate occasions by Virginia State Police.
    Cain is being held without bond at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.
  2. John Peter Miska, 64, of Albemarle County, Va., was arrested for possessing prohibited items during the event.
    "Virginia State Police engaged Miska at 11:41 a.m., outside a business on Main Street. It was determined that he had purchased razors inside the business, which are among the city ordinance’s prohibited items." Miska was released on a summons.
  3. William Erbie Hawkins Jr., 53, of Amelia, Va., was arrested for being drunk in public.
    "At approximately 2:12 p.m. Saturday at 2nd and Water streets, state police observed a male subject walking unsteadily on his feet. The trooper approached him and administered a field sobriety test."
    Hawkins was then taken into custody and is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

"The City of Charlottesville, Charlottesville Police and all partner agencies involved in safeguarding the Greater Charlottesville Region throughout the weekend continue to remain vigilant in anticipation of planned events," city officials said in a news release.

Charlottesville braces for anniversary of the deadly ‘Unite the Right’ rally

Police cars, SUVs and buses poured into downtown Charlottesville Friday, setting up a security area around the Downtown Mall.

States of emergency were declared on Wednesday for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Charlottesville. The declarations enable law enforcement to access state resources, including the National Guard, if unrest breaks out at events in and around Charlottesville and outside Washington, where a "Unite the Right 2" rally is set to occur.

The law enforcement agencies closed off access to the Downtown Mall and set up barricades to prevent vehicle traffic on downtown streets.

The security area encompasses the Emancipation Park where alt-right groups rallied one year ago in an attempt to preserve the controversial Robert E. Lee statue there.

The area also includes the street where Heather Heyer was killed when a man attending the rally is accused of plowing into a crowd of people with his car.

The city has prohibited a large number of items from coming into the security area including BB guns, knives, razor blades, and explosives. In addition, they will enforce a state law that prohibits wearing masks in certain places.

The University of Virginia has also shut down its famous Lawn for the weekend.

More than 700 Virginia State Police personnel alone are trained and ready to be assigned if the need arises, Virginia State Police Colonel Gary T. Settle said.

"Nothing would excite us any better than for this to be noneventful and folks to go home and it be a peaceful weekend for all," Settle said. But, he added, "The state police is fully prepared to act on any inciteful violence."

Gov. Northam: 'Hatred has no home in this Commonwealth'

In anticipation of the one-year anniversary, Governor Ralph Northam released a statement:

“Today we pause to remember the lives lost, and the lives forever changed, by the violence in Charlottesville a year ago. We will never forget Lt. Jay Cullen, Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates, and Heather Heyer.

“This anniversary is also a time to look forward. Those torches carried by white supremacists in Charlottesville a year ago shone a light on an ugly truth. But they also reawakened our commitment to fight back against that ugliness of racism and bigotry. Hatred has no home in this Commonwealth. I hope that as we remember the lives lost a year ago, we also renew our commitment to equity and diversity. We must continue to work to ensure that our hearts are open to our neighbors, and our systems are committed to justice.”