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Pro-Trump website correspondent arrested after altercation at UConn talk



The Hartford Courant
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. — Lucian Wintrich, White House correspondent for the far-right, pro-Trump website Gateway Pundit, was arrested by University of Connecticut police Tuesday evening after a walk-out of his event, “It is OK to be white,” gave way to an altercation.

“I can confirm that the speaker has been arrested and he is in police custody,” said UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz. “There are no other arrests and no injuries.”

Reitz said Wintrich was held by UConn police and was to be charged Tuesday evening. For one hour, about 100 students waited outside the Andre Schenker Lecture Hall to see Wintrich brought out by police. When he was eventually brought out a back entrance and placed into a police cruiser, many of the students chased after it.

Wintrich was subdued after he allegedly pursued a woman and grabbed her after she took papers off the podium. The incident occurred shortly after Wintrich spoke before a boisterous and hostile crowd.

The speech was titled “It is OK to be White.” The UConn College Republicans sponsored the event, and the group’s Facebook page said that Wintrich would “discuss identity politics, liberal victimhood, anti-conservative bias and other hot-button issues.”

After numerous interruptions and chants by the crowd, Winthrop verbally sparred with the audience. The woman who Wintrich allegedly grabbed told The Hartford Courant Winthrop went for her face.

Shortly after the incident, Wintrich was removed from the room by campus police and taken into a nearby bathroom. The windows in the area had been shattered. UConn police were also investigating a smoke bomb that was set off outside the room where Wintrich spoke, Reitz said.

The speech comes a few weeks after Wintrich postponed a talk by the same name at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

The UConn event appeared to draw rebuke on campus and on social media, with the College Republicans stating that some of its fliers had been taken down or modified. Some people also used the group’s Facebook page to criticize the event, suggesting it would attract white supremacists and calling Wintrich a “dangerous pseudo-intellectual.”

The College Republicans said Wintrich’s appearance was not organized for or by white supremacists and invited the public to attend and voice their concerns directly.

UConn officials said they were aware of the event.

Reitz said the event was not sponsored or organized by the university of Undergraduate Student Government and that it did not involve tuition or public money.

She added, “UConn does not bar speakers on the basis of content. Free speech, like academic freedom, is one of the university’s bedrock principles. That being said, a particular speaker’s or group’s presence on campus doesn’t indicate UConn’s endorsement of the presenter or their message.

“Any student group is free to reserve on-campus space for a speaker or other program as long as the event adheres to UConn’s guidelines, which apply to all student groups and on-campus programming.”

UConn College Republicans billed Tuesday’s event as an “opportunity to meet someone on the front lines of the media versus Trump battle.”

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(c)2017 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.