Photo by Rebecca Lurye/Hartford Courant
Midway through his "It's OK to be White" speech at the University of Connecticut, Conservative commentator Lucian Wintrich was arrested and charged with attempted larceny and disorderly conduct after he grabbed a woman who had swiped his notes off his lectern. The charges have since been dropped and in a reversal, the woman was arrested and charged with attempted larceny and disorderly conduct.
Wintrich's November 28 speech - attended by roughly 350 people had already started out rocky - as many protestors "tried to drown him out by shouting obscenities and chanting 'Go home, Nazis' and 'black lives matter.'" During Wintrich’s speech, Catherine Gregory came up and took his personal notes from the lectern and walked away. Wintrich went after and grabbed Gregory, tried to take his papers back, and was arrested and charged with breach of peace. He was released after posting a $1,000 bond.
Though Gregory was not apprehended at the time, a warrant was issued for her arrest, charging her with disorderly conduct and attempt to commit larceny in the sixth degree. Gregory, who is an adviser at Quinebaug Valley Community College, turned herself in on Sunday and was placed on administrative leave. Gregory's lawyer stated that "we're going to ask that she gets at least two days behind bars...so she can spend time thinking about the value of the First Amendment." He also claims his client was "violently attacked and choked" and received medical attention after the encounter.
Wintrich, who writes for a right-wing website called The Gateway Pundit spoke out after the reversal, claiming "I obviously think it's wonderful that finally the system corrected itself...we don't want to create a precedent that people can walk up to speeches they find disagreeable and steal them. I mean that's really not what America is about." Gregory's lawyer argues that "her actions were no different than turning off microphone," and that "there's a certain level of hypocrisy going on here. And my client's reaction was mild compared to the reaction of others in the audience." Gregory is set to appear in court on Wednesday.
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