Gay conservative blogger Lucian Wintrich was arrested Tuesday night after accosting a female protester who attempted to steal the transcript of a speech he delivered at the University of Connecticut.
Entitled “It’s OK to Be White,” more than 100 people attended the hourlong address. Although the event was organized by the UConn College Republicans, a majority of those present were liberal students demonstrating against the speech’s contentsan inflammatory critique of identity politics in the Trump era. Wintrich’s talk was periodically interrupted by boos and shouts of “Go home, Nazi!”
More students protested outside the Andre Schenker Lecture Hall during the event, which commenced at 8pm.
After the contentious talk concluded, one attendee swiped a stack of papers from Wintrich’s lectern, which appeared to contain notes for the speech. Video of the altercation shows him chasing after an unidentified female wearing a hunter green backpack and a fuschia sweater, who he later alleged was an advisor with the university. Wintrich subsequently grabbed her from behind before security separated the two. Neither party was injured during the incident.
The moment, about half an hour ago, that Gateway Pundit blogger Lucian Wintrich appears to accost a woman during a speech at UConn pic.twitter.com/R4Dd9eY1v4
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) November 29, 2017
The 29-year-old was arrested and received a misdemeanor charge of breaching the peace. Wintrich was released on his own recognizance after posting a $1,000 bond and after his discharge, tweeted to his 22,000 followers that it was “really unfortunate” that the protesters “felt the need to be violent and disruptive.”
Windows were smashed and a smoke bomb was detonated as attendees were leaving the event at 9pm. One protester was arrested in connection to the vandalism.
UConn President Susan Herbst called the violence “very disappointing.”
“We live in a tense and angry time of deep political division,” Herbst said in a statement. “Our hope as educators is that creative leadership and intellectual energy can be an antidote to that sickness, especially on university campuses. Between the offensive remarks by the speaker who also appeared to aggressively grab an audience member and the reckless vandalism that followed, that was certainly not the case on our campus tonight.”
“Thoughtful, civil discourse should be a hallmark of democratic societies and American universities, and this evening fell well short of that,” she continued.
Conservatives have largely stood by Wintrich, a contributor to theextremist alt-right website The Gateway Pundit. Founded by openly gay conspiracy theorist Jim Hoft, the publication has circulated false reports onHillary Clinton’s allegedly ailing healthduring the 2016 election and thatMexican drug cartels started the California wildfires. It also helped spread the persistent right-wing myth that Trump protestersare being paid by the Democratic Party.
Conservative talking head Ann Coultercalled for the protesterto be “prosecuted” in a tweet posted on Wednesday, while right-wing author Mike Cernovichclaimed that the act amounted toa “homophobic hate crime.”
“That’s what it looks like to me,” Cernovich commented on the microblogging platform. “I hope he sues.”
Wintrich, whose upcoming speech at the University of Massachusetts has reportedly been cancelled due to fears of violence, tweeted at 11:57am that hewould seek to have his day in court. He vowed to pursue legal action “against the woman who stole my property and the University that failed to secure my freedom of speech and safety.”
He also bragged about his mugshot.
— Lucian B. Wintrich (@lucianwintrich) November 29, 2017
This isn’t the first time the Twinks4Trump creator has agitated anger on the left. Wintrich, whowas once described as a “disciple”of disgraced conservative troll Milo Yiannopoulos,ridiculed transgender women at a gay Republican panelin April. He referred to former Obama advisor Raffi Freedman-Gurspan as an “unattractive tranny,” adding that he would “begrudgingly” refer to Freedman-Gurspan by female pronouns.
Wintrich became part of the White House press pool earlier this year when his publication was granted credentials, despite the fact that hehas no experience in journalism.