Rise Above Movement Member Who Punched Weekly Reporter Signs Plea Deal

Laube (center) in HB. Photo by Brian Feinzimer

Tyler Laube helped carry a “Defend America” banner held by DIY Division members, a neo-Nazi gang that later refashioned themselves the Rise Above Movement (RAM), at a pro-Trump march in Huntington Beach last year. When the Mar. 25, 2017 rally turned violent, Laube punched Weekly reporter Frank John Tristan three times in an altercation caught on camera. The Redondo Beach man signed a plea deal on Tuesday after being arrested last month for associating with the group and assaulting people at the MAGA rally.

This is how Tristan recounted the sequence of events in his recent Nov. 8, 2018 cover story:

While the organizer of this Huntington Beach pro-Trump rally and march, Jennifer Sterling, attempts to stop my first attacker, Rise Above Movement member Tyler Laube runs in to lob some cheap shots at me. Sterling tries to protect me from the blows. An antifa protester named Jessica Aguilar comes to my rescue. She jabs at Laube’s face while another antifa member pepper-sprays the crowd.

Those cheap shots may prove to be costly. Despite the “Defend America” banner Laube stood behind, he became a defendant in the US vs. Rundo, et al case after FBI agents arrested him and three other suspected RAM members for violating federal rioting laws. The neo-Nazi gang roamed from protest to protest in different cities like San Bernardino, Berkeley and Charlottesville where they engaged in coordinated violent attacks, authorities allege.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Laube, 22, admitted to associating with RAM, attending combat training in San Clemente on Mar. 15, 2015 and committing assault ten days later at HB’s Fash at the Beach in the plea agreement.

Laube is expected to formally enter the plea in federal court next week. It cuts his potential prison time in half; the guilty plea for conspiracy to riot carries a maximum sentence of five years. Like other accused RAM members, he faced two federal rioting-related charges that had him staring down 10 years in prison. The rioting charge itself got dismissed as part of the proposed plea agreement.

As ProPublica noted, Laube had a priors on his criminal record. At the time of the HB rally, he was on five-years probation for a 2015 robbery conviction. He’s represented by attorney Jerome Haig whom the Weekly requested a statement from on his client’s behalf, but received no response by press time.

Earlier in October, the FBI arrested three RAM members and an associate for similar charges related to the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

Four more RAM members got arrested by the FBI a few weeks later, including Huntington Beach resident and purported leader Robert Rundo. They’re expected to stand trial on Dec. 18.

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