Civil War Soldier Reunion Parade in Newton leads to arrest

Civil War Soldier Reunion Parade in Newton leads to arrest”

Smith was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault, and released on a written promise to appear by a magistrate.

Authorities say he assaulted the Confederate re-enactors Thursday afternoon during the 2017 Soldiers Reunion parade in Newton, North Carolina, where thousands gathered to watch.

On Friday, police said Smith also was cited for "failure to disclose to any law enforcement officer that the person holds a valid permit and is carrying a concealed handgun when approached or addressed by the officer".

Smith didn't return two phone messages left by the Observer at his home on Friday.

The two complainants said that when the re-enactors would stop to discharge their weapons, the man would discharge his pepper spray.

Smith, known by many as Phil, reportedly discharged the pepper spray when the re-enactors went to fire their weapons, the release said.

The two victims of the spray were treated for pepper spray exposure by Newton Fire Department and Catawba County EMS and released at the scene. He eventually was identified by witnesses, and officers took him into custody. Smith did have a valid hide carry permit for the firearm. The Newton Police Department says they consider the 2017 Soldiers Reunion a success. The event pays tribute to past and present USA military personnel.

Police told ABC they weren't aware of any threats or groups planning to protest the parade.

"If there's any trouble on the square, or any organization, we're not going to ask questions", Jerry Poovey, with the Sons of the Confederacy, said earlier in the day.

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