VIDEO: Group confronts diners at Louisville eatery, says they were celebrating Hitler's birthday

Published: Apr. 22, 2017 at 1:14 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2017 at 11:22 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A group of 40 people marched into a Louisville restaurant to remove several patrons whom they claim are neo-Nazi white supremacists.

>> VIDEO: Watch Kasey Cunningham's full report

The Louisville Anti-Racist Action Group said it was made aware of a group celebrating Adolf Hitler's birthday at the Irish Rover and posting about it on a website and forum called the Daily Stormer. The website, which depicts Hitler on its masthead, bills itself as "The World's Most Goal-Oriented Republican Website."

The ARA on Friday released a statement on its own website, defending the decision to march inside the Irish Rover on Frankfort Avenue on Thursday, and begin chanting while patrons dined nearby.

"A group of area white supremacist posters from the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer were celebrating Adolph Hitler last evening when they were asked to leave the Irish Rover by the owners after being outed by Louisville Anti-Racist Action. Louisville ARA arranged for a crowd of approximately 40 members of the Louisville community to confront the group, and provided screenshots to the crowd and to the owners of the establishment to support their actions. The crowd chanted 'Nazis out' until the group left."

Michael Reidy and his wife Sibohan Reidy own the Irish Rover, and said they were shocked when the group came marching in, and alerted them to the group of patrons whom Reidy identified as white supremacists.

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"We had some folks in there that we would never have in normally, the undesirables, the white-supremacist folks," Michael Reidy said. "We weren't aware of it obviously and they were celebrating an unsavory event and the other folks came in."

Reidy acknowledged the ARA group was disruptive to diners, but added that many of the patrons understood and were supportive of the actions taken.

"We understand and we asked the white supremacists to leave," Reidy said. "It was the right thing to do. And we feel good about it. We feel it was handled appropriately."

Reidy said the group of men had never been in the restaurant before, and there was no way of knowing they had white-supremacist ties, but he said the ARA had its facts straight.

As for the group in question, WAVE 3 News spoke with Scott Hess, who is seen in the video, standing in front of the protesters with a hand on his knife. He said the ARA isn't what it claims to be, and its accusation of the group's neo-Nazi affiliation isn't accurate.

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"According to these people and groups, (President Donald) Trump and his supporters were also 'neo-Nazis,'" Hess said. "Anyone they disagree with is called a Nazi. They're the bootboys of the radical left. Antifa are domestic terrorists by definition."

Hess later sent the following statement to WAVE 3 News:

"The Antifa attacked the entire restaurant. They attack Trump supporters. They attack reporters, too. They attack anyone who's not a radical anarchist. We will not be intimidated. We will defend our people. We will prevail."

WAVE 3 News reached out to the ARA for comment but did not get a response.

Copyright 2017 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.