Phoebe Stevens

Phoebe Stevens grabs Jason Kessler after his Aug. 13, 2017, press conference.

A disorderly conduct charge against the woman who tackled Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler in 2017 has been dismissed, per a court agreement.

The order, entered by Judge Humes Franklin on Friday, states that Phoebe Stevens has completed community service requirements. 

Stevens, a French teacher at Wilson Memorial High School at the time, was initially charged with misdemeanor assault for grabbing Kessler at a press conference the day after his white supremacist rally ended with three deaths and dozens of injuries. She was one of four people arrested for assaulting Kessler at the Aug. 13, 2017, press conference.

In 2018, as Stevens was about to go to trial, the charge was downgraded to disorderly conduct through a court agreement, according to her lawyer.

Stevens is now eligible to have the charge expunged.

In 2018, Stevens testified that she went to the press conference to hear what Kessler had to say, despite vehemently disagreeing with his beliefs. When she arrived, she said, she couldn’t hear anything, so she forced her way to the front, near the media.

That was when a group of people surged forward and attacked Kessler, she said. Stevens said she thought that if she could help him stay still, officers could more easily get to him and "save him."

Stevens was then heard saying "We love you, Jason" before grabbing him. She said she wanted Kessler to know that she didn’t hate him and only disagreed with what he believed.

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Ruth Serven Smith is a reporter for The Daily Progress. Contact her at (434) 978-7254, rserven@dailyprogress.com or @RuthServen on Twitter.

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