SACRAMENTO -- A bloody brawl at the state Capitol last June left more than a dozen nursing injuries and the California Highway Patrol looking for the true aggressors as neo-Nazis tried to carry out their permitted rally while self-described anti-facist groups tried to stop them.
Now, the California Highway Patrol is recommending charges for more than 100 individuals in connection to the June 26 brawl.
"They splashed crap all over me. They were hitting me with a stick," one man in the melee said.
"We did not talk to them. We made sure that they had to leave," said Yvette Felarca, one of the anti-facists.
After an eight-month investigation, the CHP delivered a report to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office recommending 514 misdemeanor and 68 felony charges involving 106 individuals.
The charges range from unlawful assembly to assault with a deadly weapon.
So far, no arrests have been made.
The names of those recommended for prosecution have not been released and the D.A.'s office is not commenting further.
Veteran defense attorney Mark Reichel, who was contacted by some of those involved right after the fight, is talking.
He calls this bulk recommendation to the D.A. for charges, an 'unworkable' nightmare for the prosecution because vital defense witnesses might also be defendants.
The brawl began when groups with ties to white supremacy, including the Traditionalist Workers Party and the Golden State Skinheads, obtained a permit to hold a rally at Capitol Park. Other groups at the park that day, numbering in the hundreds, did not have permits.
A violent confrontation between white nationalist and anti-fascist groups left dozens injured, with 10 suffering from stab wounds. Video captured the mayhem from start to finish. More than 300 people were at the capitol during the incident.
Matt Parrott is an out-of-state spokesman for local members of the Traditionalist Workers Party who were too wary to speak on camera Wednesday.
When asked about the riot investigation moving toward the charging stage he said it would be great if those who attacked the rally were to be held accountable.
And, that it would be unfortunate if any members of his group were singled out because "it's the most cut and dry case of self defense that there could ever be....with Yvette Felarca and the Antifa network stating before, during and after the event that they would attack us without provocation."
"I wouldn't say it's the best case ever, but it does sound like a very valid argument for self defense if they can prove they were defending themselves and there was no other alternative means," said Reichel.
Despite what the brawl may have looked like to some, Parrott also says the "root problem is the CHP not doing its job" that June day at the capitol.
He claims CHP officers have used a "disastrously different approach" than other law enforcement agencies across the country when it comes to protecting its citizens.
CHP officers and Sacramento police officers were there by the dozens in riot gear and on horses.
“As a result of our investigation, which included conducting hundreds of interviews and reviewing many hours of video evidence, we are asking the Sacramento County District Attorney to bring charges ranging from unlawful assembly to assault with a deadly weapon,” said CHP Captain Daniel Lamm, Commander of Capitol Protection Section. “Our role is to protect free speech, but not when that speech involves violence.”
Investigators said they faced several challenges throughout the investigation. They said many of those involved in the brawl had attempted to disguise their identities and did not cooperate with investigators.
The CHP was not available for comment about what Parrott had to say.