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‘Black Bloc’ profile: Brent Vincent Betterly inspired by revolutionaries

Brent Vincent Betterly 24.  (AP Photo/Chicago Police Department)

Brent Vincent Betterly, 24. (AP Photo/Chicago Police Department)

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Updated: July 1, 2012 12:29PM



He wears his hair in strawberry-blond dreadlocks and appeared in court Saturday wearing a T-shirt touting the punk band “Misfits.”

He lists drinking as his hobby on his Facebook page and says he draws inspiration from Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, George Washington and the 17th century British bomb-plotter Guy Fawkes.

Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla., is one of three men accused of being “domestic terrorists,” members of the “Black Bloc” movement that’s wreaked havoc at past global gatherings.

He’s charged with possession of an explosive or incendiary device, conspiracy to commit terrorism and providing material support to terrorism. It’s not his first brush with the law.

On Oct. 13, Betterly was charged in Broward County, Fla., with burglary to an unoccupied structure, grand theft and criminal mischief. Those felony charges are pending, records show.

An article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said he was among three men who decided to throw a pool party at an Oakland Park high school after a night of drinking tequila.

Surveillance video showed the men strolling through the school’s halls, pool area and gym roof on Sept. 27 in their wet swimming trunks, thenewspaper reported.

They allegedly stole fire extinguishers from school buses, discharging one into a bus and smashing a cafeteria window with the other, then sprayed the roof of the girls’ locker room.

In January, Betterly responded to an invitation to an Occupy Fort Lauderdale pool party by saying, “been there done that. have a court date because of it.”

Betterly also was charged in Dade County, Fla., with disorderly intoxication, but the case was dismissed Feb. 6.

Betterly’s brother, Drew Betterly, is in jail in Broward County, Fla., charged in the murder of a Maryland man shot there during a drug deal, officials allege.

Attorney Andrew Coffey said he got to know Brent Betterly while representing his brother on the murder charges. Brent was supportive of his brother, Coffey said.

Coffey is also representing Brent Betterly in the case involving the alleged school break-in. Coffey said he was surprised by the terrorism charges filed Saturday.

“I know he had a tough upbringing,” Coffey said. “[But] he’s pretty much a good kid. To find out about these new charges is absolutely shocking and mind-blowing.”

“I’ve never known him to hint at any violence. To find out what he’s accused of doing up there is unbelievable. He kind of a free-spirited kid.”



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