FACT CHECK: Has Buffalo Protester Martin Gugino Been Arrested 300 Times?
An image shared on Facebook claims 75-year-old protester Martin Gugino has been arrested 300 times.
There is no evidence Gugino has been arrested 300 times. His lawyer has also refuted the claim.
Gugino attended a June 4 protest against police brutality in Buffalo, New York, where he was shoved by two police officers, causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the ground, according to video of the incident.
In recent weeks, some social media users, including President Donald Trump, have made dubious claims about Gugino. This particular post alleges that he has been arrested 300 times, including 82 arrests for incitement. The image appears to show Gugino in handcuffs being escorted away by a police officer.
“This is the ‘kindly old man’ who was ‘pushed’ in Buffalo,” text above the image reads. “Mr. Gugino had been previously arrested 300 times. 82 times for incitement. Riots is what he does for a living.”
“It is false,” Zarcone said in an email. “He was arrested 4 times for peacefully protesting and never convicted of anything. In fact, 3 of the 4 arrests did not even result in any charges against him.”
Gugino detailed the four times he said he’s been arrested on his personal blog: in Orange County, California, in 2009, near the White House in 2012 and 2013 and near the Capitol in 2016. The DCNF confirmed each of those arrests occurred.
The first arrest appears to have involved an unnamed misdemeanor that occurred in Orange County, California in 2009, according to records obtained by the DCNF. PolitiFact reported Gugino was found not guilty of a misdemeanor charge for trespassing.
No public records could be obtained for the 2012 incident, but it appears to be the one photographed in the post. A reverse image search of the photo revealed it was taken by filmmaker Justin Norman in January, 2012, and can be found on Norman’s Flickr page.
“Martin Gugino is arrested for peacefully protesting against the Guantánamo detention center in front of the White House,” the caption said. (RELATED: Were 2 Hospitals Set On Fire During George Floyd Protests In Columbus, Ohio?)
He was arrested again in 2013 by the U.S. Park Police, which falls under National Park Service’s jurisdiction. This time he was arrested for “demonstrating without a permit,” according to an email from Sgt. Eduardo Delgado, a public information officer for the Park Police.
The fourth arrest Gugino mentions on his blog occurred in January 2016 when he was arrested with about 30 other people by Capitol Police for “unlawful demonstration activities near the Rotunda steps of the U.S. Capitol Building,” according to an emailed statement from the Capitol Police.
The DCNF also searched Google, LexisNexis and online databases but found no record of any other arrests. PACER, a database of case and docket information for federal courts, also had no results, according to PolitiFact.
Gugino suffered a fractured skull and is unable to walk, CNN reported on June 16.
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