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June 7, 2012 Off

Brutal Racist Skinhead Assault in Philadelphia Results in Victim’s Blinding

Update — 2/22/16: A judge sen­tenced Stephen Mas­ten to 41 ½ to 83 years in prison after he was found guilty of attempted mur­der, aggra­vated assault, con­spir­acy, and bur­glary charges. Co-defendant Frank Casiano was sen­tenced in July 2015 to 20 to 40 years after plead­ing guilty to aggra­vated assault, con­spir­acy, and bur­glary charges for his role in the attack.

Racist skin­heads have a long track record of bru­tal and vicious assaults and mur­ders in the United States. Usu­ally, they direct their extreme vio­lence at per­ceived “ene­mies,” such as eth­nic or reli­gious minori­ties, mem­bers of the GLBT com­mu­nity, or anti-racist activists.

How­ever, the racist skin­head sub­cul­ture is an inher­ently vio­lent one. When they have a mind to, racist skin­heads can be just as bru­tal towards their own, as a recent shock­ing attack in north­east Philadel­phia graph­i­cally demonstrated.

Accord­ing to police reports, the attack occurred on May 6, 2012, when a racist skin­head, David Phillips, 43, was assaulted by two fel­low white suprema­cists, Stephen Mas­ten, 29, and Frank Casiano, 28, who allegedly kicked in the door to Phillips’ home and began beat­ing him with sticks and a black­jack while threat­en­ing to kill him.

The police report states that the assailants repeat­edly punched, kicked and stabbed Phillips—but that was not all. Accord­ing to the vic­tim, Mas­ten tried to smother Phillips with a pil­low, then gouged out the victim’s eyes with his bare hands, rip­ping them from their sock­ets. Phillips suf­fered mul­ti­ple stab wounds and lac­er­a­tions on his face and head, as well as bro­ken eye sock­ets, and was per­ma­nently blinded by the assault. He remains hospitalized.

Dur­ing the ini­tial inves­ti­ga­tion, Phillips told police that the per­pe­tra­tors were white suprema­cist com­rades of his, while a fourth white suprema­cist who wit­nessed part of the assault allegedly iden­ti­fied the attack­ers as Mas­ten and Casiano. The wit­ness claimed the vio­lent assault was an act of retal­i­a­tion against Phillips because of a prior inci­dent involv­ing Phillips and Masten’s girl­friend while Mas­ten was incar­cer­ated on theft charges. Mas­ten left prison on parole about two weeks prior to the assault.

A few days after the assault, Joshua Steever, founder of the small racist skin­head crew Aryan Ter­ror Brigade (ATB) and cur­rently liv­ing in New Jer­sey, began post­ing about the attack on the ATB’s on-line forum. Iden­ti­fy­ing Phillips as ATB’s Penn­syl­va­nia state rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Steever asked forum mem­bers to donate money to help with his recovery.

Police arrested the two sus­pects on May 22, 2012, charg­ing them with attempted mur­der, aggra­vated assault, con­spir­acy to com­mit mur­der, bur­glary, crim­i­nal tres­pass­ing, pos­ses­sion of an instru­ment of crime with intent, mak­ing ter­ror­is­tic threats with intent to ter­ror­ize another, sim­ple assault, reck­less endan­ger­ment to another per­son, and crim­i­nal mischief.

Mas­ten and Casiano remain incar­cer­ated with bail set at $3 mil­lion and $1 mil­lion, respec­tively. A pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing is sched­uled for June 12, 2012.

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June 5, 2012 4

May Not So Merry For White Supremacists

April ended with a shock to the racist world, as promi­nent Ari­zona white suprema­cist and bor­der vig­i­lante J.T. Ready fatally shot four peo­ple before turn­ing his gun on him­self.   White suprema­cists would not be given a chance to catch their breaths, how­ever, as the month of May con­tin­ued to serve them set­back after setback.
Christo­pher Brooks of Amer­i­can Front
On the heels of the Ready murder-suicide came a high pro­file inci­dent in Florida in early May, in which law enforce­ment offi­cers rounded up almost the entire Florida con­tin­gent of the hard­core racist skin­head group Amer­i­can Front on weapons, para­mil­i­tary train­ing, and hate crimes charges.  To date, author­i­ties have made 14 arrests.  Accord­ing to court doc­u­ments, the group allegedly con­ducted para­mil­i­tary train­ing to pre­pare for an “inevitable race war” and dis­cussed pos­si­ble acts of vio­lence rang­ing from shoot­ing at a house to attack­ing an anti-racist group.
This just set the stage for a wave of arrests and set­backs to the white suprema­cist move­ment in May, including:
  • In mid-May, Vir­ginia neo-Nazi Bill White became a fugi­tive, announc­ing that he had “left the coun­try,” though author­i­ties think oth­er­wise.  White, who had been released from prison in April, missed a re-sentencing court hear­ing and pos­si­bly feared he might be sent back to prison.
  • On May 19, anti-racist activists crashed a Chicago-area white suprema­cist event billed as an “eco­nomic sum­mit,” attack­ing atten­dees and send­ing three to the hos­pi­tal.  Police arrested five anti-racists on charges related to the attack.  Adding insult to injury, police also arrested two of the atten­dees of the white suprema­cist event—one for child pornog­ra­phy and the other for unlaw­ful pos­ses­sion of weapons by a felon.
  • On May 30, Joliet res­i­dent Brian Moudry, a long-time Chicago-area white suprema­cist asso­ci­ated with the Cre­ativ­ity Move­ment, was arrested on fed­eral arson and civil rights charges in con­nec­tion with the 2007 arson of an African-American family’s house a few doors down from Moudry’s.
  • Also on May 30, agents from the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Joint Ter­ror­ism Task Force arrested Vir­ginia white suprema­cist Dou­glas Howard Story for allegedly attempt­ing to obtain a fully auto­matic AK-47.  Story had a track record of on-line com­ments about respond­ing with vio­lence to encoun­ters with police and about how Pres­i­dent Obama might be assassinated.

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May 7, 2012 3

American Front Members Arrested on Hate Crimes, Conspiracy Charges

Patri­cia Faella

Fed­eral, state and local author­i­ties arrested much of the core mem­ber­ship of the Florida con­tin­gent of the white suprema­cist Amer­i­can Front this past week­end on hate crimes and con­spir­acy charges.   The Amer­i­can Front is one of the old­est hard­core racist skin­head groups in the United States, with a mem­ber­ship con­cen­trated pri­mar­ily in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia and cen­tral Florida.

At least seven peo­ple, all from the greater Orlando area in cen­tral Florida, have been arrested; addi­tional arrests may ensue.  Mem­bers picked up so far include Mar­cus Faella, 39; Patri­cia Faella, 36; Mark McGowan, 29; Jen­nifer McGowan, 25; Diane Stevens, 28; Kent McLel­lan, 22; and Paul Jack­son, 25.   The Fael­las have played some­thing of a lead­er­ship role within the Amer­i­can Front since the shoot­ing death of its pre­vi­ous leader, David Lynch, in Cal­i­for­nia in 2011.
Mar­cus Faella

Pros­e­cu­tors have charged the Fael­las and the McGowans with crim­i­nal con­spir­acy and a hate crime.  McGowan and his wife Jen­nifer have report­edly also been charged with ille­gal para­mil­i­tary training—providing firearms or explo­sives train­ing with the inten­tion of com­mit­ting civil dis­or­der. Diane Stevens was also charged with crim­i­nal con­spir­acy and com­mit­ting a hate crime.   Charg­ing details for the oth­ers arrested are not yet avail­able, nor has the nature of the alleged con­spir­acy yet been made public.

A num­ber of Florida Amer­i­can Front mem­bers have been involved in crim­i­nal activ­ity.  It was only in 2010 that McLel­lan was sen­tenced to a year in prison after being con­victed of van­dal­iz­ing a local restau­rant and church with white suprema­cist graf­fiti in 2008.   In May 2010, another Florida Amer­i­can Front mem­ber, Christo­pher Brooks of St. Cloud, pleaded guilty in Vir­ginia for his role in a syn­a­gogue van­dal­ism there in 2009.  That same year, Florida Amer­i­can Front mem­ber Richard Adam Stock­dale served time for bat­tery charges.

The Amer­i­can Front is one of a large num­ber of hate groups with a pres­ence in Florida.  It includes sub­groups such as the Valkyrie Corps for female mem­bers and the Amer­i­can Patriot Brigade for new mem­bers, referred to as “probates.”

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