The 128th annual Soldiers Reunion Parade in Newton, North Carolina, was supposed to be one of those sleepy, small-town summer affairs.
Instead, last Thursday’s festivities experienced some tense moments when police nabbed a man who was seen pepper-spraying Confederate re-enactors during the parade, WSOC-TV reported.
What’s more, the suspect — Karl Smith, 56 — was carrying a gun and used to be an elementary school principal in Burke County Public Schools, the station said.
Two parade participants told police that a man with pepper spray was following the Confederate veteran re-enactors, and WSOC added that one its reporters said he witnessed Smith pepper-spraying the re-enactors.
The two individuals who notified police said that when the re-enactors stopped to discharge their weapons, the man discharged the pepper spray, the station said.
“He just walked up to the backside of the fellas that were fixing to do the salute,” witness Amanda Chandler told WSOC.
When the police spotted the suspect, a news camera caught the moment they ran over and took him into custody.
Police seized a small canister of pepper spray and a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver from Smith, the station said.
He has a concealed carry permit but didn’t notify officers he had a gun and permit when he was taken into custody, the station said.
“They are required to identify that they do have a permit and are carrying a weapon as soon as they are addressed by law enforcement,” Newton Police Maj. Tim Hayes told WSOC, who added that Smith didn’t do so.
Smith was charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault and cited for not telling officers he had a gun, the station reported, adding that he was released from jail on the promise he would appear before a magistrate.
He previously was a principal at East Burke High and W.A Young Elementary School, WSOC reported, citing its partner the Morganton News-Herald. The district told the station that Smith has retired from his principal duties but is still a system employee.
TheBlaze on Monday didn’t immediately hear back from Burke County Schools as to whether Smith will face any disciplinary action.
Two pepper-spray victims were treated for exposure to it and released at the scene, WSOC said.
Jerry Poovey with the Sons of the Confederacy had prophetic words for the station earlier in the day: “If there’s any trouble on the square, or any organization, we’re not going to ask questions. We’re going to lock them up. Durham will not be re-enacted here.”
Poovey presumably was referring to a leftist mob that pulled down a Confederate monument last week in Durham — a little over two hours east of Newton — and proceeded to kick it and spit on it.
What’ll they think of next?
Clearly the left is engaging in some pretty serious overstepping on the heels of deadly demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, two weekends ago. But when a former elementary school principal is allegedly reduced to targeting a town parade and everyday folks re-enacting a slice of Civil War history, that’s sinking to pretty low depths.
And you have to wonder — after some folks going cross-eyed over subway tiles that supposedly look like Confederate flags and a Chicago pastor wanting to take down a statue of George Washington in a park named after him since the first U.S. president was a slave-owner — what infraction will the left think of next?