While many Flagstaff protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have remained peaceful, a recent gathering ended with multiple arrests. According to a press release from the Flagstaff Police Department (FPD) and Public Information Officer Charles Hernandez II, a protest Saturday afternoon was interrupted when the occupant of an “SUV-type vehicle” flipped off the crowd.
The protest group — which reportedly moved north on South San Francisco Street after blocking East Butler Avenue — surrounded the vehicle and began stealing its belongings. Flagstaff resident James Kleinhenz, 51, was allegedly driving while intoxicated before exiting the vehicle with a handgun held at his side.
“Protesters reportedly opened the vehicle doors and removed belongings from the vehicle, to include the keys and Mr. Kleinhenz’s phone,” the press release stated. “One protester, identified as a juvenile, broke the cell phone with his skateboard. The vehicle keys and cell phone were thrown on the roof of the Crystal Magic business.”
According to the press release, FPD officers quickly took the handgun and started a DUI investigation. Kleinhenz was arrested on two charges — driving while impaired to the slightest degree and driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher — while his SUV was towed from the scene approximately 15 minutes later.
Protesters threw multiple eggs and at least one large rock at the vehicle, Hernandez added, and they also tried to break its windows with a “blunt object.”
Flagstaff resident Taymond Tolthe, one of the group’s protesters, was arrested for third-degree burglary, criminal damage, obstructing a highway, refusing to provide a truthful name and disorderly conduct as a result of the investigation.
Tolthe, 24, was also charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest, giving him seven indictments in total. Additionally, the minor in attendance was charged with felony criminal damage, and FPD continues to review these incidents.
"This investigation has been assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit and is ongoing," the press release stated. "If you were on scene and witnessed any of these events and are willing to provide a statement, please contact the Flagstaff Police Department at 928-774-1414."