White nationalist leader Matt Heimbach charged with domestic battery after arrest in southern Indiana

Matt Heimbach, a white nationalist who calls Indiana home, makes his way into Emancipation Park during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (Photo from Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar)

PAOLI, Ind. – An Indiana man who’s considered an instrumental leader in the white nationalist movement faces charges after an altercation with his wife’s stepfather.

Matthew Heimbach is charged with misdemeanor battery and felony domestic battery, according to court records.

Heimbach was arrested early Tuesday morning on preliminary charges of battery and strangulation, according to our media partners at the IndyStar.

Heimbach lives in Paoli, Indiana, and is the chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, a white nationalist group that has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was a key promoter of the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and has been described as “the next David Duke.”

His arrest stemmed from a fight between Heimbach and his wife’s stepfather, Matt Parrott. A report from WHAS said it happened after Parrott confronted Heimbach about an alleged affair with Parrott’s wife.

The incident happened at the Paoli property where Heimbach and other members of the Traditionalist Worker Party live. Parott told police that Heimbach “choked him out” and said he briefly lost consciousness. He ordered Heimbach off his property, but Heimbach refused.

Parrott then sought refuge at a nearby Walmart and called police.

After meeting with Parrott, Paoli police went to track down Heimbach. A police officer reported hearing him raise his voice, followed by some scuffling. Heimbach’s wife told the officer that he’d pushed her and grabbed her face in front of their two children.

Parrott, who served as spokesman for the Traditionalist Worker Party, said he’s resigned his position.

Heimbach was arrested in Louisville in 2016 and eventually pleaded guilty in 2017 to disorderly conduct for shoving a protester at a Donald Trump rally. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but the judge waived the sentence as long as he didn’t re-offend over a two-year period.