WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — Walnut Creek police were working early Monday to identify suspects involved in a weekend downtown protest who vandalized buildings, burned a flag, blocked vehicles in the street and committed at least one assault using pepper spray.
In a Facebook post, police said that at about 7 p.m. Saturday, a large group of people gathered downtown. Some had sticks and signs, some wore helmets; many had dark clothing and masks and some were wearing ballistic-type vests.
The group grew to approximately 80 people as it marched downtown, some of them spray-painting anti-law enforcement rhetoric on buildings, signs and sidewalks throughout downtown.
The group ultimately arrived outside the Bourbon Highway Restaurant at the corner of North Main Street and Civic Drive, where a fight broke out and a bar patron was pushed to the ground, police said. The group surrounded patrons dining outside, yelling at them and intimidating them.
When Bourbon Highway staff tried to get them to leave, at least one protester assaulted staff and patrons with pepper spray.
The marchers and protesters are believed to have been part of a group that goes by “East Bay Resistance,” and had invited people to participate in what they described as a “No Justice, No Peace” protest Saturday night in downtown Walnut Creek at 7 p.m. Saturday. In social media posts, participants were urged to wear masks and practice social distancing.
But unlike with most peaceful protests, organizers didn’t share with police their route or expected number of participants.
No arrests were made Saturday, but police are working to identify suspects in the assault and the various instances of vandalism. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call WCPD Detective Bryan Duncan at (925) 943-5875.
*story by CBS San Francisco