The leader of a group of bloodthirsty neo-Nazis in Southern California has finally been arrested inside a Romanian gym, three years after he rose to lam after being indicted on various charges including assaulting a police officer.
Robert Rondo, 33, was arrested in Bucharest on March 29 by police special forces when a guide contacted the authorities.
Rondo is the founder of a group called RAM, which stands for Rise Above Movement. In addition to racist activities, its members are also passionate practitioners of MMA. The group has between 20 and 50 members.
Officials in Romania said that when he was arrested, Rondo was carrying a jeweler who he said was Robert Lazar Pavić. It is not known how long he has been in the eastern European country.
In the aftermath of the arrest, US authorities issued an extradition request to their Romanian counterpart. Between 2016 and 2018, Rondo is believed to have been ubiquitous at various political rallies, often clashing physically with enemies and law enforcement.
Rise Above Movement founder Robert Rondu, 28, pictured inside a Romanian gym shortly after his arrest
Picture Rondo being dragged outside a Romanian gymnasium on Wednesday
Rondo will face a hearing on April 25th. And the authorities in Europe accuse him of spreading the ideology of white supremacy in countries such as Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary, according to a Romanian news station. Digi24.
“The suspect is said to be one of the founders of an organization that supports a white supremacist ideology, which has publicly presented itself as a combative group, fighting for a new nationalist movement for white supremacy and identity,” a statement from police said, according to the police. Radio Free Europe.
Members of RAM attended the 2017 Charlottesville Unite Oath that led to the death of Heather Heyer.
After the initial charges against him were dropped in 2019, Rondo is believed to have left the United States.
A Los Angeles federal judge dismissed the charges on the grounds that the Riot Act of 1968 was unconstitutional.
A person can be convicted under the law for simply texting friends about meeting at a political rally, Judge Cormac Carney said, and added that even those with a “hateful, toxic ideology” are protected by the First Amendment.
He had been charged with “traveling to political rallies across California, where they violently attacked counter-demonstrators, journalists, and a police officer,” the Justice Department said in a news release at the time.
Rondo is photographed in custody in Berkeley, California in 2017
Videos showed Rondo punching dissident protesters in Huntington Beach and a police officer in Berkeley, according to an FBI affidavit.
Prosecutors described RAM as “a combat-ready armed group of a new white national identity and supremacy movement”.
In January 2023, Rondo was convicted again, which led to his recent arrest.
Radio Free Europe reported that in a September 2020 interview on a neo-Nazi podcast, Rondo said he left the United States due to what he called “harassment” from the authorities.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, members of the Rise Above movement believe they are fighting against a “modern world” that is being corrupted by the “destructive cultural influences” of liberals, Jews, Muslims, and non-white immigrants.
Members refer to themselves as the mixed martial arts club of the “alt-right” fringe movement, a loose mixture of neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and other far-right extremists.
The leader of a white supremacist group in Southern California and three other members have been arrested weeks after other members of the group were indicted for allegedly inciting riots in Charlottesville, pictured.
A woman, Heather Heyer, was killed when a car crashed into a group of protesters who were demonstrating against a white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia,
“They operate very much like a street fight club,” Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s Counter-Extremism Center, said earlier this month. Segal said the group has roots in the racist skinhead movement in Southern California.
In August 2017, Rondo and his cohorts made their way to a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville with their hands taped, “ready to fight a street fight,” US Attorney General Thomas Cullen said at a news conference announcing the charges in 2018.
Hundreds of white nationalists descended on Charlottesville in part to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
The clashes erupted on August 11 when a crowd of white nationalists marching on the University of Virginia campus carrying torches and chanting racist slogans confronted a small group of counter-protesters.
The next day, more violence broke out between counter-protesters and those present at the Unite the Right rally, believed to be the largest gathering of white nationalists in at least a decade.
Street fighting broke out before the scheduled event began and lasted for about an hour in full view of the police until authorities forced the crowd to disperse.
After the rally was forced to disband by authorities on August 12, Heyer, 32, was killed when a car crashed into a crowd of counter-protesters.
The death toll rose to three when a state police helicopter monitoring the event crashed, killing two soldiers.