Two people were arrested today after reportedly setting off explosive devices in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, with one bomber appearing to be an anarchist ‘furry.’ On July 4, the Asheville Police Department (APD) reported that its bomb squad was responding to an incident of an exploded IED at Park Square.
The suspects arrested have been identified as Chioke Auden Fugate, 23, and Duncan Andrew Small, 30. APD said that they have been arrested for igniting “improvised explosive devices at Pack Square at the site of the former Vance Monument as spectators were departing the July 4th Independence Day Celebration.”
APD says that witnesses claim to have overheard Small say he was going to blow up what remained of the monument, created in 1898 to memorialize former North Carolina Governor Zebulon Baird Vance. The monument was removed in May 2021 as part of an ongoing project to tear down any statues relating to the Civil War, racism, or the nation’s founding, notably beginning during the so-called “Summer of Love” riots of 2020.
APD’s bomb squad found remnants of an exploded IED, as well as a bag belonging to Small containing zip-tie handcuffs and a two-way radio. A ballistic vest, pistol and ammunition, and a flare gun and ammunition were also found in Small’s vehicle. Leather gloves and a gas mask that belonged to Fugate were also found in the investigation.
Among the items found during the investigation was a pamplet, “Life Without Law: An Introduction to Anarchist Politics.” The book can be found on an anarchist website. In a section called “tactics,” it reads:
“The most iconic action is probably that of breaking out the windows of banks, court houses, chain stores, and other institutions and symbols of domination.
We run magazines and blogs and write as journalists. We hack security databases and leak information to the public about the ways in which the public is being spied upon. We tell stories that heroize resistance to oppression. We help people cross borders. We fight fascists in the streets. We’ve been known to burn down a building or two. And it’s been awhile, but we used to kill kings.”
APD confirmed that Small and Fugate were two suspects that they were searching for from a previous protest. As ABC reports, “Small was charged and arrested with weapons violations for that incident and ‘Fugate confessed to wearing a ballistic vest,’ police said.”
The two suspects’ bond have only been set at $16,000 and $15,000.
Social media posts on Twitter and Facebook show that Fugate is a ‘furry’ who calls himself a “tech coyote.” A ‘furry’ is a human who dresses up as furry animal. On his Facebook, Fugate describes himself as a “furry who lives in north Carolina. I am the definition of to loud for my own good, goodboy.” His page also shows that he follows the Asheville “Party for Socialism and Liberation” group.
A tweet shows Fugate saying that if you aren’t an extremist, he does not care about your politics, unless you are “Antifa” or “Alt-Right,” because anything that is not extreme does not have an “effect on anything.”
A video earlier this year shows Fugate dressed as a furry shooting a rifle. Another shows him shooting a World War II submachine gun—without the furry costume.
In a tweet before the 2020 election, Fugate called the presidential debate between Trump and Biden an “absolute shit show,” referring to both candidates seeing each other as the “devil incarnate.” In November, he also claimed to have voted for Trump because “the left has pissed me off so much,” adding that he does not care who wins.
The arrests come after a threat was sent to APD signed from Antifa. The email’s connection to Antifa is currently being authenticated by the department. The letter states that if the department does not ensure the safety of protestors, then at all costs Antifa will.
“Here is your chance to show the city that you are the heroes you claim to be. We will no longer put up with your oppression in ANY FORM. Due to your lack of safety and support, you have forced us to do your jobs for you. We will NOT allow you to tell us that what we are doing is wrong…If you continue to fail to protect protestors, we will continue to successfully do so. If you continue to harass us for doing so, you will be met with further action. This is your first and ONLY formal warning.”
Yaakov Strasberg contributed to this report.