CADILLAC — A Cadillac father is defending his adult child after unrest in DC.
Leslie Grimes, a trans woman who was arrested under her given name, Logan, has already been released by police in Washington, DC, according to her father, Robert Grimes of Cadillac. He said charges have been dropped.
But Grimes has been getting nasty messages from people in the community and wants people to know his child wasn't carrying a weapon or trying to overthrow the government.
Leslie is not a Trump supporter. Neither is her dad.
Grimes says Leslie, 25, had gone to DC with friends to counter-protest the Trump supporters who would later storm the Capitol Building on Wednesday.
"Heading to D.C. with my boo ... (expletive) The Proud Boys," Leslie wrote on Facebook Tuesday.
During the unrest, there was a scuffle between Leslie's group and some Trump supporters.
Leslie was arrested, and according to Metropolitan Police documents, charged with Carrying a Pistol Without a License (Outside Home or Place of Business) 2015, Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device (and), Possession of Unregistered Ammunition. The place of the arrest was a few blocks north of the White House.
"(She) was not carrying a weapon on (her). What happened was, is that (she) belongs to a group of people, young people down in Grand Rapids, they have their political beliefs," said Grimes, who is still adjusting to using Leslie's name and pronouns. "Those political beliefs do not agree with Trump."
Leslie did not immediately return a request for comment; Grimes indicated it was unlikely she would. The Cadillac News spoke to Grimes shortly after he spoke by phone to Leslie.
After a Trump supporter "attacked" Leslie, according to Grimes, Leslie and her friends "packed it up." On their way out of town, they were pulled over by police. Cops searched the vehicle and found the weapon. Leslie took responsibility and was arrested.
The Cadillac News counted six Michiganders on 16 pages of names of people arrested following the unrest in DC. The document is from the Metropolitan Police Department.
None of those people have anything to do with Leslie, according to Grimes.
Leslie has been protesting in support of Black Lives Matter and against Donald Trump for much of 2020, Grimes said. Her Facebook description reads "Always Queer, Always Antifascist."
Charges were dropped Thursday night, according to Grimes, who had spoken to a number of media outlets at that point. DC's police department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the dropping of charges.
Wexford County Lt. Mike McDaniel said Leslie Grimes was previously arrested in April 2018 for a warrant out of Allegan County referencing a charge of possession of marijuana. Grimes bonded out of jail the next day on a $500 bond, according to McDaniel.
No other charges were pending in Wexford County at the time of the 2018 arrest.
Grimes said on Friday that Leslie is on her way back to Grand Rapids, where she's been living since the summer of 2020, when Grimes's comic book shop in Cadillac, The Comic Book E.R., closed.
The reaction to the arrest, and the assumption that Leslie was part of the crowd storming the Capitol, has been tough for her dad to bear.
"A bunch of people pretty much were ready to hang my (daughter). And, and the justice system hadn't even started moving," Grimes said. "I've worked really hard to do good things in this community. I expected a little bit more goodwill."
Grimes cited the comic book shop's nonprofit organization that donated comic books and a mask-making endeavor that Leslie participated in.
The rumor mill has been churning, and Grimes wants it, and the stress it has caused his family, to end.
"We've done nothing wrong to this town, and my (daughter) did nothing wrong to this nation," Grimes said.
But even that is complicated in a town like Cadillac, where Trump won most of the vote.
Grimes said that if he spends time declaring his and Leslie's innocence and liberal political views, then "I'm the enemy of the majority of a lot of folks who love supporting Trump up here."
"But if I don't say (she) wasn't a part of sedition, then I'm the enemy of people who hate Trump," Grimes said. "Why am I trapped in the middle of this mess, when my family has always been good folk to this town?"
Citing a lyric from Canadian folksinger Bruce Cockburn, Grimes said, "everybody wants to see justice done on somebody else," adding, "and it's time to stop. It's time to stop worrying about what your neighbor is doing and start worrying about what's going on inside you."
Cadillac News reporter Rick Charmoli contributed to this story.