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Dahlonega rally arrests included weapons charges, inciting a riot
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Trump supporter and right-wing activist Jovanni Valle speaks Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Dahlonega during a pro-Trump rally on the square. - photo by Scott Rogers

A Dahlonega man ran from law enforcement and hid a knife in a drain pipe hours before rallies scheduled to take place in the Dahlonega square, according to authorities.

Dahlonega authorities announced three arrests before and during the event. A pro-Trump rally was scheduled, and later the Socialist Coalition of North Georgia planned a counter-rally.

A University of North Georgia officer encountered the 26-year-old man at a marked police checkpoint. After the officer spoke to him briefly, the man started going toward UNG property and took off running after the officer yelled stop.

Multiple officers joined the search that ended near the UNG downtown business office.

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A man shouts at members participating in a pro-Trump rally Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in downtown Dahlonega as police move in to remove him from the barricaded area. - photo by Scott Rogers

The man claimed he did not hear the UNG officer or the assisting Georgia State University officers yelling to stop.

Four pill-like items were found in the man’s jacket, which the man claimed were breath mints. The items were sent off for testing.

“During the course of my investigation, (the man) advised that he hid a knife within a drain pipe within the rock wall in lot 4,” according to the officer’s report. A brown knife in a brown case was later discovered.

The Dahlonega man was charged with obstruction or hindering of a law enforcement officer and carrying a weapon while on school property.

One Canton woman and one Columbus man were also charged Saturday afternoon with misdemeanor inciting a riot.

Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Alan Roach said the two started out on the counter-rally side and ended up moving into the pro-Trump side.

“They were in the middle of the crowd yelling and making their statements, which goes along the lines of the terms of inciting a riot because it could have led to a violent confrontation between them and the group that they got into the middle of,” Roach said.

The warrant claimed the two were “walking up on the Trump supporters” yelling “Whose street? Our street” and walking through the crowd.

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