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Protester pleads guilty to unlawful assembly

An Austin man who rallied against an area neo-Nazi during an Oct. 17 protest downtown pleaded guilty to unlawful assembly on Thursday in Mower County court.

For the offense, Matthew Donald Novak, 21, will pay $185.

Another person who was involved in the protest near the veterans memorial on Main Street, 22-year-old Naomi Alaska Snoozy of Minneapolis, failed to appear in Mower County court Thursday for a hearing. She had previously pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor charges.

A third individual, 21-year-old Christopher Michael Lawson, also of Minneapolis, is scheduled to enter a guilty plea on July 1 for one count of disorderly conduct, which is a petty misdemeanor.

According to a police report, Snoozy, Lawson and Novak were counter-protesting a gathering organized by Austin resident and member of the National Socialist Movement Samuel Johnson decrying illegal immigration.

The three were joined by at least 25 to 30 others who pushed in on Johnson and three of his supporters while they spoke. A number of people threw tomatoes, cups of Jell-O and other objects at the neo-Nazis, the report states.

Novak stepped on Johnson’s public address speaker during the melee, according to the report, but the 20-year-old said it was accidental.

He was then arrested without confrontation.

Snoozy was told by an officer to back up as she got closer to the neo-Nazis but refused, the report states.

The officer then put out at his hand and said, “Can you step back, ma’am?” Snoozy replied by saying she was a boy and continued to push forward.

When the officer took control of Snoozy by the hand, she went limp and fell to the ground, according to the report. Another officer assisted in carrying her away from the crowd.

While in jail, Snoozy said she was a boy but not born with any male parts. She said she’d be more comfortable staying with men in jail.

Snoozy was released that day and the report does not indicate whether she was detained with men or women.

Lawson was spotted being verbally aggressive and throwing fruit toward the neo-Nazis, the report states.

An officer used a chemical spray to subdue him and bring him in to custody.

Because so many people were clustered, the spray inevitably hit others, according to the report, but no one had reported their exposure to law enforcement officials at the time of the report.