Former KKK pamphleteer wanted after violent assault in Burlington

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Burlington Police are searching for a man who they say attacked and beat a 33-year-old acquaintance at the Downtown Transit Center late Monday morning.

The suspect was identified by witnesses as William Schenk, 25, who police say has a history with law enforcement. Police say Schenk left the scene after the alleged assault and has not yet been located.

In surveillance video released by police, a man wearing red pants and believed to Schenk approaches a man in a white T-shirt and begins yelling.

He then begins beating the man, with the brawl spilling out into the street just as a bus lumbers past. Police say Schenk struck the man with what they believe was a small glass pipe, cutting his head. He was transported to UVM Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries.

In 2016, Schenk was convicted of hate crime-enhanced disorderly conduct for leaving KKK fliers at the homes of two women of color. His conviction was overturned in 2018 by the Vermont Supreme Court, which said Schenk’s actions were protected speech.

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