A protester at a right-wing gathering in Greenville, South Carolina was picked up and body-slammed to the ground by one of the event’s speakers – a man who was purportedly defending the honor of retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn.
The incident took place at the conclusion of the “Rock The Red” conference, which bills itself as the “CPAC of the South.” That’s a reference to the so-called Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) – an event sponsored annually by the American Conservative Union (ACU).
Chad Caton – a local internet talk show host from Horry county – is seen in a video corralling the protester and throwing him to the ground. The incident went down shortly after the protester picked up a live microphone and began lambasting Flynn, who had just finished speaking to the assembly.
“General Flynn is the biggest scumbag traitor in the history of this country next to Donald Trump,” the yet-to-be-identified protester said prior to being accosted by two individuals. Caton comes to assist these two individuals in wresting the microphone from the man – but then picked him up and slammed him to the ground.
Hucks referred to the takedown as “quick and dynamic” – pointing out that the clip he posted “highlight(ed) the force Caton used to drive the speaker into the platform.”
Hucks claimed the video offered proof that Caton – who reportedly draws disability checks from Horry county taxpayers for injuries sustained during his career as a firefighter – is not truly disabled.
Here is a video of the incident Hucks’ posted to his website’s YouTube page …
(Click to view)
According to Caton, he was trying to protect Flynn and keep the protester from making a “citizen’s arrest” of the retired general – who sparked a huge controversy last month when he suggested that a Myanmar-style military coup should take place in America.
Flynn denied making such a statement, but his remarks were captured on video.
“He was coming to arrest the general,” Caton told me on Sunday afternoon, citing the text of a prepared speech that “was found on the floor” near the protester following the takedown.
Here is that speech …
(Click to view)
Caton said it was not immediately clear whether the protester was armed, saying he appeared to have a “blackjack” club in his hands. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a blackjack is a short, easily concealable leather handle with a weighted end used to deliver close-quartered blows.
“We have one of the most threatened people in the United States on stage,” Caton told me. “I didn’t know what was in his hand and I wasn’t about to take that chance. All I did was react.”
This isn’t the first time Caton has been at the center of controversy. As my news outlet reported back in April, Caton allegedly spit in the face of former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Jim Furry following an event at The Dunes, an exclusive golf and beach club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Furry declined to press charges against Caton in connection with that incident.
It is not immediately clear whether criminal charges will be brought in connection with this “Rock the Red” takedown. The Hilton Greenville Golf Resort and Conference Center – the location of the gathering – is under the jurisdiction of the Greenville, S.C. police department. Greenville police were dispatched to the conference center following the incident, but it is not clear whether anyone was taken into custody. If any charges are forthcoming, city police would be responsible for making any arrests – and the office of S.C. thirteenth circuit solicitor Walt Wilkins would be responsible for prosecuting any charges.
My thoughts on all this? As much as it pains me to concur with Hucks – who obviously has an axe to grind (as well as no shortage of his own issues to deal with) – he is correct in questioning “why brute force was necessary” to resolve this particular situation.
“Turning off the speaker’s microphone was perhaps a wiser option,” Hucks wrote.
“Rock the Red” is an annual gathering organized by conservative activist Pressley Stutts, who bills himself as an Upstate Tea Party leader. Of course, Stutts has broken with Tea Partiers in the past by endorsing some of the same establishment “Republicans” he and his followers say they detest.
UPDATE: GOP leaders, event organizers respond to the situation …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that lime green Daytona Tortugas’ batting practice lid pictured above).
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