Police arrested Andrew Oswalt last year on the University of Oregon campus for a weapons charge while he was in the company of a group of men, including a known neo-Nazi.
Oswalt and his companions were stopped on campus late at night with racist fliers, a ladder and a stapler in their possession, according to a University of Oregon police report.
Oswalt, who was carrying a German-made stiletto knife, was later found not guilty of violating concealed weapons laws by a six-person jury, according to a staffer at Eugene Municipal Court.
But the arrest connects Oswalt, who is under investigation in Corvallis for a possible hate crime, to a larger white nationalist movement in the state. According to the arrest report, Oswalt was with James Marr when he was stopped by campus police about 11 p.m. on July 29.
A phone call to Oswalt seeking comment was not returned Friday.
Marr, who lives in Springfield, is known for public displays of racism. He was charged in 2016 with disorderly conduct for blaring hate messages from atop his roof during a social justice rally, according to the Eugene Register-Guard newspaper. Marr was believed to be behind the display of anti-Semitic banners on Interstate 5 overpasses during the solar eclipse last summer, The Oregonian reported.
In the campus police report, the officer notes he recognized Marr from the man’s involvement in the Pacifica Forum in 2009. The group of Holocaust deniers, which was active on the University of Oregon campus, was named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In the report, the officer states he was patrolling the area near Bean Hall when he saw Oswalt and two other men walking toward a parked white pickup. Marr was sitting in the truck, according to the report. The officer noted the three men on foot were dressed in dark clothing and wearing gloves. Oswalt had a scarf over his face and was holding a stapler, the report states. Another man was carrying a ladder.
The officer states he stopped the men because they were walking along a fence near a construction zone and appeared suspicious. One of the men with Oswalt had a knife clipped to his pocket, while another had a collapsible baton in a sheath on his hip, according to the report. Oswalt reportedly told the officer he had a knife in his pocket. The officer found a folded stiletto with a 4-inch blade, the report states.
According to the report, the officer arrested Oswalt for carrying a concealed weapon and later took him to the Lane County Jail, where Oswalt was booked. Oswalt was also trespassed from the University of Oregon.
The officer photographed fliers that one of the men had hanging out of his pocket. Photos of the fliers are included in the police report. The fliers read “’Diversity’ means fewer white people,” “Zero white guilt,” “White man resist your eclipse,” “We are what made America great — its protection begins with you,” “Celebrating white history month every month,” and other statements. One flier featured a drawing of a Ku Klux Klan member.
According to the report, the officer returned the fliers to the man and released him and the third man with a warning. Another officer spoke to Marr before Marr drove away, the report states.