Police Wednesday confirmed that Maurice Schwenkler, 24, is the man they took into custody Tuesday night as he fled the scene of the vandalized Colorado Democratic Party headquarters. Wearing a shirt hiked over his face, a hoodie and rubber gloves, Schwenkler allegedly smashed the 11 storefront-style windows and fled with an accomplice on bikes. The police have so far apprehended only Schwenkler, who was also arrested in Minneapolis last year at the Republican National Convention.
Although the Denver Police department released the attached photo, it has yet to weigh in with further details, including any related to the motivation for the attack. The amount in damages, estimated at $10,000, would appear to put the crime in the Class Four felony category, which would carry a two-to-six year sentence and criminal fines.
Bloggers at Colorado Pols are linking Schwenkler through a Secretary of State payee filing to a political organization called Colorado Citizens Coalition, a mostly labor-backed and liberal-donor-funded 527 that paid for door-to-door campaigning in the fall. The address Schwenkler listed when he was paid for his week of work for the CCC, according to Secretary of State records, is the same street address as the Derailer Bicycle Collective. Because of the shared address, some are roughly speculating the suspect is an anarchist.
The nature of the Derailer organization suggests the act may have been motivated by anti-government anarchist sentiment but also perhaps frustration with the mainstream or moderate policies of the Democratic Party, accused of socializing U.S. governance but not, of course, attempting to implement anything like a genuine socialist policy .
The Denver Post reports some of the details that have emerged concerning Scwenkler’s political activities, including his arrest in Minnesota:
On the last day of the 2008 Republican National Convention, he was charged with misdemeanor unlawful assembly in St. Paul, Minn.
Court records provided through the St. Paul Pioneer Press show he was jailed about 2 a.m.
Schwenkler received $500 in November 2008 to walk door-to-door in support of Democrat Mollie Cullom, who lost her race to Republican state Rep. David Balmer of Centennial.