Trial of suspected downtown Asheville vandals postponed

ASHEVILLE — The trial of 11 people police say incited a downtown May Day riot has been postponed until spring.

The next court date for the defendants is set for April 11 in Buncombe County Superior Court.

Police say the suspects were dressed in black and wielded hammers as they smashed windows at businesses and damaged cars in the Battery Park area the night of May 1.

Some are students and are loosely tied to an anarchist website and the May Day movement, authorities said.

The date has become a day for marking worker solidarity and has been seized upon for anti-capitalism displays of violence, especially by anarchist groups in Europe.

Each of the defendants faces 10 misdemeanor and three felony charges, including inciting to riot, conspiracy to riot and damaging buildings.

Police said the mob broke windows and damaged property at seven businesses and broke windows on private vehicles, causing more than $18,000 in damage.

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