Counter Protesters at January Pro-Trump March Facing Felony Charges

San Diego County prosecutors filed felony charges Monday against 10 people accused of taking part in ``violent criminal acts'' in Pacific Beach.

The clash happened on January 9 as counter protesters tried to disrupt a march by supporters of then-President Trump. It was eventually declared an unlawful assembly by San Diego police. Most of the defendants were arrested last week in San Diego and Los Angeles counties.

According to the District Attorney's office, the defendants -- who face charges ranging from assault to conspiracy to illegal use of tear gas -- self-identify as anti-fascists or "Antifa" and planned to gather at the event to take what is called ``direct action'' against a pro-Trump ``Patriot March.'' The DA's office alleges ``direct action'' means ``acts of violence such as assault, battery, assault with deadly weapons, arson, and vandalism.''

Police and prosecutors say two counter-protest groups gathered at the event and attacked people perceived to be members of the ``Patriot March'' group.

The DA's office says at least 16 people were either sprayed with mace and/or attacked with weapons, including chairs, sticks and glass bottles, including a juvenile who was hospitalized for a concussion and a dog that was sprayed with mace.

The DA's office says that if convicted, the defendants could face more than 10 years in prison.

(Photo 10News)

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