A truck full of masked men from the Patriot Front extremist group were arrested near an Idaho city’s Pride in the Park event, police say.
Law enforcement stopped a U-haul truck in downtown Coeur d’Alene on Saturday afternoon and detained 31 people, all wearing the same outfit, who were inside, according to KREM2.
The men inside the U-haul were all dressed the same in khakis, blue shirts, beige hats and a white cloth covering their faces. Officers cuffed them with zip ties, put them in police vans and took them away from the scene.
Police said the men had shields, shin guards, riot gear and a smoke grenade with them when they made a traffic stop.
“They came to riot downtown,” the city’s police chief Lee White told a press conference on Saturday.
The group’s members were charged with conspiracy to riot, a misdemeanor charge, and police said they had an “operations plan” with them.
Police said that they were tipped off by a “concerned citizen” who saw the men “looking like a little army” load up into the truck at a hotel, and not from an informant within the group.
Investigators said the members came from states across the country and were in the process of being booked. The police chief said that the men had Patriot Front logos on their clothes and hats.
Those arrested came from Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, Wyoming, Virginia and other states as well, police said.
“It appears they did not come here to engage in peaceful events,” Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris told the Coeur d’Alene Press.
Videos on social media showed police in tactical gear forcing the men to kneel down with their hands placed behind their backs.
Patriot Front is described by the Anti-Defamation League as a white supremacist group.
Police said there were groups walking around the Pride event with long guns, handguns and bear spray.