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Christopher Cantwell

A white nationalist facing charges in Charlottesville said he will turn himself in

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A white nationalist involved in the recent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, said he will turn himself into authorities.

Christopher Cantwell of Keene, New Hampshire is wanted on three felony charges, according to University of Virginia police.

The charges include two counts of the illegal use of tear gas or other gases and one count of malicious bodily injury with a “caustic substance,” explosive or fire.

Cantwell acknowledged to The Associated Press on Tuesday that he had pepper-sprayed a counter protester during an Aug. 11 protest on UVA’s campus.

The New Hampshire man insisted he was defending himself, however, “because my only other option was knocking out his teeth.”

Cantwell also said he had struggled for days with determining whether he had any outstanding warrants for his arrest.

The white nationalist noted he is now “convinced” he is wanted after seeing a statement from the UVA Police Department about himself.

Cantwell declined to say where or exactly when he would turn himself in, vowing only that it would be in the “most appropriate and safe manner possible.”

“[It’ll be] likely much sooner than that,” he said of his decision, noting it would occur in the next 24 hours and that he is eager for his day in court.

UVA police announced Tuesday that they had obtained warrants for Cantwell’s arrest on three separate charges.

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“Mr. Cantwell should turn himself in immediately to any police agency,” the department said in a statement.

Cantwell gained national notoriety upon appearing as a key figure in a Vice News segment on Charlottesville’s recent turmoil that aired Aug. 14.

The Vice segment showed Cantwell and other white nationalists marching in the so-called “Unite the Right” rally to protest the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville.

The situation in Charlottesville turned violent on Aug. 12 when a car drove into counter-protesters there, killing one person and wounding 19 others.

Two Virginia State troopers also died the same day in a helicopter crash authorities linked to the chaos in Charlottesville.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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