Thursday, July 19, 2018
Public safety

Florida man arrested in connection with Charlottesville white supremacist rally is out of a job

A Florida man arrested in connection with a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., is out of a job.

North American Roofing Services, which recently moved its headquarters to Tampa, announced in an internal memo that Jim O'Brien "is no longer with the company." The announcement follows a Tampa Bay Times article with details from O'Brien's blog espousing white nationalist beliefs and encouraging violence against the political left.

The memo, shared with the Times by CEO Kelly Wade, doesn't name O'Brien but instead refers to a "manager." Wade confirmed the memo referred to O'Brien. He formerly worked as the company's director of purchasing and logistics.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: National roofing company moving to Tampa.

"The flurry of published documentation supporting discriminatory beliefs and activity by this Manager has disrupted the business and made it impossible for him to perform his job," the memo states. "Therefore, we have addressed the situation."

O'Brien, 44, declined to comment Tuesday.

Virginia State Police on Saturday announced O'Brien, of Gainesville, was one of three men arrested in connection with a violent white nationalist rally planned to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville's Emancipation Park.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Florida man among three arrested in connection to white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

O'Brien said his arrest for carrying a concealed handgun was unrelated to the rally and that he received a misdemeanor citation from police.

Saturday's rally, called "Unite the Right" by its organizers, drew droves of counter-protesters. The parties clashed throughout the day, leading the governor to call for a state of emergency. An Ohio man who appeared to be in support of the white nationalist movement drove his car into a crowd, killing a woman who was there to counter-protest, police said.

The statement from North American Roofing goes on to denounce "discriminatory activity of any sort."

"We do not support the extremist activities that were on display in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend or any other similar activity," it says. "We promote a culture of inclusion and diversity."

The memo doesn't mention white nationalism specifically, but Wade said in an interview that company leaders "denounce white supremacy completely."

Contact Kathryn Varn at (727) 893-8913 or [email protected] Follow @kathrynvarn.

Comments
Rabid bat clings to woman’s arm in Sun City Center parking lot

Rabid bat clings to woman’s arm in Sun City Center parking lot

SUN CITY CENTER — A Sun City Center woman got an unusual surprise as she used the bathroom in her home Monday – a rabid bat clinging to her arm.According to the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, the woman was helping a friend into ...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Lakeland man, 21, dies in Tampa single-car crash

Lakeland man, 21, dies in Tampa single-car crash

TAMPA — A Lakeland man was killed Wednesday night after he lost control at a turn and struck a tree, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Gabriel Wyatt, 21, was driving a 2007 Audi northbound on Old Hopewell Road toward Highway 60 ar...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Search continues for missing diver at Eagle’s Nest in Hernando

Search continues for missing diver at Eagle’s Nest in Hernando

WEEKI WACHEE — Rescue crews will continue to search Thursday morning for a diver who failed to resurface at a dangerous cave in Hernando County.The unidentified diver was free-diving at Eagle’s Nest, meaning he was not carrying oxygen, sometime befor...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Deputies: Masked shooter wounds Dunedin woman in home invasion

DUNEDIN — Deputies are searching for a black-clad gunman who shot and wounded an 18-year-old woman during a home invasion attack Wednesday, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.The shooting was reported at about 1:03 p.m. at 1144 New Yor...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Hernando deputies: Cave diver fails to resurface at the Eagle’s Nest

Hernando deputies: Cave diver fails to resurface at the Eagle’s Nest

WEEKI WACHEE — A diver exploring the Eagle’s Nest, a notoriously dangerous underwater cave, failed to resurface from a Wednesday night dive, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.The person was free diving, according to the Sheriff’s Offi...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Pinellas deputies: Man charged with pregnant woman’s murder injures jail inmate

Pinellas deputies: Man charged with pregnant woman’s murder injures jail inmate

LARGO — The man accused of fatally shooting a pregnant woman while she was riding home from church with her family last year now faces allegations that he assaulted a jail inmate who has since died.Charles G. Allen Jr., 41, already faces two counts o...
Published: 07/18/18
Video shows a Polk County store clerk shooting a man who was stealing Natural Ice beer

Video shows a Polk County store clerk shooting a man who was stealing Natural Ice beer

A Lakeland convenience store clerk has been charged with attempted second-degree murder after he chased and shot a man who walked out with $36 worth of Natural Ice beer.Mehedeun Hasan, 22, and his father Q M Monsur Rahman, 61, were behind the counter...
Published: 07/18/18
‘Rather die first’: Gibsonton man shot by deputies didn’t want to be without his estranged wife, Facebook posts show

‘Rather die first’: Gibsonton man shot by deputies didn’t want to be without his estranged wife, Facebook posts show

RIVERVIEW — Tim Braun took to Facebook early Friday morning to tell the world, or at least friends, how determined he was save his marriage."Will not give up on my wife," he typed in black letters on a light green pattern of stylized cats. "Rather di...
Published: 07/18/18
These men were promised anonymous sex. They wound up on a porn site instead.

These men were promised anonymous sex. They wound up on a porn site instead.

The men thought they were going to a South Miami-Dade house for a casual and clandestine tryst with a bored housewife.Once there, the men agreed to be blindfolded, and for sex acts to be performed on them. What the victims did not know, federal agent...
Published: 07/18/18
Fourth victim recovered after planes from troubled flight school crash in Everglades

Fourth victim recovered after planes from troubled flight school crash in Everglades

As investigators continued to scour the Everglades Wednesday morning in the aftermath of Tuesday’s mid-air collision between two small aircraft, police said they recovered a fourth body.By mid-morning, the body had not yet been identified."Homicide i...
Published: 07/18/18