The man arrested at Friday’s protest of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s visit to a middle school has been identified as a 32-year-old who lives in Northwest Washington and faces charges of assault on a police officer and failure to obey a lawful order.
Bilal A. Askaryar has been freed from the D.C. jail and has a hearing scheduled March 17 on the misdemeanor charges. His family is from Afghanistan, and he and his parents fled the country in 1990 as the Taliban’s influence grew.
Askaryar said he was too afraid to talk publicly while facing criminal charges; his attorney did not return a call seeking comment. Askaryar’s father, who lives in San Francisco, confirmed his family background, which his son described in detail in a first-person essay for NPR in January.
Originally published by The Washington Post.