Editor: As Leesburg’s mayor, I have heard concerns and questions from a few of our residents about the arrest of Christopher Cantwell on March 31 for public intoxication. Mr. Cantwell is notorious for his involvement with the alt-right Charlottesville rally because he was charged with the illegal use of tear gas during the rally.
It is important that all residents know that the Leesburg Police have determined that Mr. Cantwell is not a person of interest regarding the distribution of KKK literature. In addition, I want to assure all residents that there is no evidence that Mr. Cantwell or anyone else is planning a rally in Leesburg.
When Mr. Cantwell was charged with drunk in public and taken into custody, the Leesburg Police checked for active warrants. Finding none, and because the charge was a misdemeanor, Mr. Cantwell was released on his own recognizance once he was sober. This decision was made during Mr. Cantwell’s bond hearing and was not made by the Leesburg Police. The town did not release any information about his arrest to the media because we do not do so for misdemeanor arrests. The court date for Mr. Cantwell’s arrest in Leesburg for public intoxication is set for June.
There were no active warrants for Christopher Cantwell because he was out on bond pending an April 26 court date in Albemarle County. Mr. Cantwell did appear in court as scheduled. The judge was concerned about Mr. Cantwell’s arrest in Leesburg; she decided that he must now wear an alcohol bracelet.
I want to assure all residents of Leesburg that the town, including the police department, will remain alert to any suspicion that could possibly threaten or intimidate anyone in Leesburg, especially those communities that have been targeted by the alt-right. I encourage anyone with concerns to reach out to me. Leesburg is a welcoming community and will continue to remain so.
Mayor Kelly Burk, Leesburg