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Veterans Day fracas complaint lodged with Auburn Police

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A dustup between veterans at Auburn’s Veterans Day parade is being investigated by the Auburn Police Department. A complaint was filed after the Nov. 11 incident on Lincoln Way by Veterans For Peace Placer County Chapter President Carroll Nast. Nast said that the assault and battery complaint names American Legion Commander Earl Montgomery as one perpetrator and an as-yet-unidentified veteran who marched at the front of the parade as the other. Auburn Police Lt.. Scott Burns confirmed that a complaint had been filed and that it was being investigated. Montgomery couldn’t be reached for comment. Montgomery has said that he attempted to stop the Veterans For Peace group from marching with its banner during the parade. As parade director, he had the power to disallow parade entries, he said. Nast said Montgomery pushed him three or four times as his group tried to move forward in the parade. “He leaped to the front and pushed me,” Nast said. “I moved to the side and he pushed me again.” Montgomery alleges in the complaint that an unidentified veteran struck Veterans For Peace member Kent Williams twice in the head. Williams said he won’t press charges, however. Nast said his group wanted to march in the parade and weren’t protesting at the event. The banner they eventually agreed not to display showed the “veteransforpeace.com” Website and a dove symbol. Montgomery said he requested the group turn over its sign until after the parade and tried to take it from Nast. He also said Montgomery came close to knocking him down as he stood on the street and the group tried to walk forward. At that point, Williams said he knocked off Montgomery’s hat and the punches were subsequently thrown by the unidentified veteran. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.