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Rockwellites Arrested in Washington; Defaced B’nai B’rith Building

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Police today announced the arrest of two of George Rockwell’s neo-Nazi “storm-trooper” on charges of defacing the National headquarters building of B’nai B’rith. The two Nazis arrested, Daniel Burros, 23 and John Patler, 22 were living in the “barracks” maintained by Rockwell in Arlington, Virginia and are members of Rockwell’s bodyguard.

They were arrested in front of the White House when they appeared with other Nazis to picket in protest against the confinement of Rockwell in a mental hospital by order of the District of Columbia court. Police said bond would be set at $500 each for the two neo-Nazis.

Joseph G. Weeda, Commander of the District of Columbia Department of the American Legion said today that he had asked the executive committee of the American Legion to seek a Congressional investigation of Rockwell’s “American Nazi Party.” The matter is being taken up in Legion circles as a result of Commander Weeda’s action.

Municipal Court Judge George B. Nellson yesterday rejected a defense motion to reconsider his commitment of Rockwell to the District of Columbia General Hospital for psychiatric observation. Rockwell was committed July 27 for about a month.

James K. Hughes, Rockwell’s attorney, offered to introduce yesterday new evidence that the neo-Nazi had been committed without Justification. Mr. Hughes said two psychiatrists at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington, David Owens and Maurice Platnik, had volunteered to examine Rockwell and had spent almost four hours with him on Thursday. Dr. Owens came to the courtroom with Mr. Hughes to testify.

Clark King, assistant corporation counsel, opposed the motion,. He said that the hearing was not a session to determine whether Rockwell was sane. He said this would be determined by the results of the psychiatric testing Rockwell was now receiving in the hospital. Mr. King argued that the only question at issue was a prima facie showing of probability of Rockwell’s incompetency to stand trial and that this showing had been made in the hearing last Wednesday.

In turning down the defense motion, Judge Neilson said that “we sat here for five hours and listened to competent testimony which made out a prima facie case.” The judge also declared that Rockwell, by continuing his public exhibitions in the nation’s capital after having been before Neilson previously, had “raised the question of his competency. Are we going to let him continue these exhibitions?”

The judge’s reference was to a series of weekly rallies on each Sunday at which Rockwell and his “storm troopers” taunted Jews and other anti-Nazis. Recent clashes at the rallies led to arrests twice of Rockwell and some of his “troopers” on disorderly conduct charges.

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