Kenosha police find helmets, gas masks, more in out-of-state vehicles; arrest 9
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - An alert citizen tipping the Kenosha Police Department to three suspicious vehicles with out-of-state plates Wednesday night led to the arrest of nine people authorities suspect were plotting some sort of criminal activity related to recent violent protests.
However, a group out of Seattle that was founded to provide free food to protesters and activists, RiotKitchen206, claims it was their members who were arrested and that they were in Kenosha only to serve meals to people at the demonstrations.
According to a statement posted on KPD’s Facebook page, the tipster told them the vehicles were in a remote lot near State Highway 50 and Green Bay Road. Officers soon found the vehicles – a black school bus, a bread truck, and a tan minivan – and, with the help of U.S. Marshals, staked out the position.
When the vehicles headed to a gas station on Washington Road and 30th Ave., law enforcement was close behind, the statement continued. The officers reported seeing people from the black bus try to fill multiple fuel cans. Seeing that and suspecting they were planning something illegal, the officers approached the vehicles and identified themselves. KPD reported that the suspects in the bus and bread truck all surrendered, while those in the minivan tried driving off.
According to KPD, officers were able to stop the minivan and force their way into it, arresting everyone in the vehicle. With all of the suspects in custody, officers searched the vehicles and discovered helmets, gas masks, protective vests, illegal fireworks, and suspected controlled substances, the statement noted.
All nine of them were booked for disorderly conduct, although the Kenosha Co. District Attorney will make the call on any final charges.
Riot Kitchen Responds
In a tweet apparently posted not long after the arrest, Riot Kitchen shared what appeared to be video of the capture of the minivan, which appeared in the video to have Oregon license plates, and the arrest of those individuals.
“This is our crew and we know why they were there. To feed people. That’s it,” the organization said in tweet replying to someone asking about the video.
The organization, which was founded during the protests of George Floyd, last tweeted Wednesday that it was still trying to locate some members of its team. It has not tweeted any updates since then
NBC15 News has contacted the Kenosha Police Dept. to verify Riot Kitchen’s claim. We will update this story when we hear a response.
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