Man charged after assaulting Jewish vigil protester in Chapel Hill

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Officials say a man has been charged after assaulting a person who was protesting a Jewish vigil on Sunday.

No one was hurt during the altercation, which occurred at Peace and Justice Plaza.

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Police said 36-year-old Cody Gall was assaulted while he was protesting the vigil. A person who attended the event was charged after he grabbed and pushed Gall.

According to Take Action Chapel Hill, the group was taking a moment to honor victims of white supremacy, and the 11 people killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting last month.

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ABC11 got a chance to speak with the woman who organized the vigil. The woman chose to remain anonymous.

"The words that this individual was using were anti Semitic," the woman said. "At the vigil, a group of vigil protesters put themselves between the disruptor and vigil to give more space to the vigil to let us continue on with our memorial service. At several different points the disruptor tried to get into our circle."

The woman said a group of people were trying to stop Gall so they could carry on with their event.

ABC11 also spoke with Gall. He denied being a white supremacist, and he also denied claims from the group that he used anti-Semitic words.

Instead, he said he disrupted the event because he believed the vigil was part of a larger scheme to illegally take down or dismantle confederate monuments.

"There's the criminal core and there's the political activist who then get people from the public to show up. And the people from the public really don't understand what they are involved in," Gall said. "It's like a big giant magic trick and I was just trying to show anyone who walked by how the trick worked. It's all about deception."

Gall did not specifically mention or reference Jews or Israel in his interview with ABC 11, but organizers worry his views echo historic anti-Semitic claims themes of secret Jewish control of government, finances and media.

Police said Gall did in fact have a right to protest the vigil.

Authorities also said it was inappropriate for someone to assault him.

The man accused of assaulting Gall has been charged with simple assault and was not ready to talk on camera about the incident.

The group said it will continue to mobilize despite the incident.
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