Justice Mark Dwyer gave Maxwell Hare, 27, and John Kinsman, 40, terms that were six months above the minimum for the caught-on-camera skirmish near the Metropolitan Republican Club after Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes delivered a speech. Both defendants faced as much as 15 years. They were convicted last August at trial of attempted gang assault, attempted assault and riot stemming from the Oct. 12, 2018, melee.
“It’s a shame when some people jump up and down on a platform,” Dwyer said in an apparent reference to McInnes, “and their followers, their soldiers, get into trouble.”
He added, “I’m not sure the most moral responsibility belongs to these two defendants.”
Both Kinsman and Hare apologized for their conduct during the Manhattan Supreme Court sentencing. “I’m sorry about the whole mess. I regret the entire incident,” said Kinsman, who is married with three children. “I made a mistake.”
In a similar statement, Hare told the judge, “I made a mistake that night. I made quick decisions. I’m sorry.”
They both testified at trial that they acted in self-defense. Assistant DA Joshua Steinglass argued for five-year prison terms.
“This was not a schoolyard brawl,” the prosecutor said. “These are adults who should know better.”
The fight unfolded shortly after McInnes’ speech ended and the Proud Boys exited the venue, as 60 protesters, including members of Antifa, massed behind barricades and jeered at them. To avoid a confrontation, cops directed the Proud Boys west on 83rd Street, then south on Park Avenue, while they shepherded their opponents in the other direction.
As the Proud Boys neared East 82nd Street, they saw six suspected Antifa protesters, clad in black, heading toward them. Instead of walking away, the defendants and their pals sprinted more than 100 feet toward their foes, instigating the fight, Steinglass said.
During the violent confrontation, Kinsman and Hare repeatedly punched, kicked and stomped on the outnumbered and undersize Antifa members. The victims in the case were never identified, and Antifa refused to cooperate with the investigation. Prosecutors said that if they could have located the Antifa members, they would have also been charged. A total of 10 Proud Boys were charged in connection with the incident. Seven of them took plea deals, and one is still awaiting trial.
“I know enough about history to know what happened in Europe in the ’30s when political street brawls were allowed to go ahead,” Dwyer said during the sentencing. “We don’t want that to happen in New York.”