Community College Taking Precautions After Threats Over Altercation With Conservative Speaker - NBC Connecticut

Community College Taking Precautions After Threats Over Altercation With Conservative Speaker

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Students upset by UConn allowing a conservative comentator to speak at the school held a protest on campus on Friday.

    (Published Friday, Dec. 1, 2017)

    Quinebaug Valley Community College is taking extra precautions after death threats against a college employee who is accused of grabbing papers from a conservative commentator during a speech at the University of Connecticut Tuesday night

    The employee was not on the QVCC campus Friday, according to the school, and they said the extra security is in response to email received earlier in the week. 

    On Tuesday, Lucian Wintrich, the White House correspondent for the right-wing blog Gateway Pundit, was arrested following a fight broke out during a speech titled, "It's OK To Be White" after a woman appeared to take paperwork off his lectern and walk away. 

    Wintrich was seen on video running after the woman and grabbing her. 

    Wintrich was arrested and charged with breach of peace and has threated to sue the school and the woman over the incident. 

    Attorney Jon Schoenhorn said that woman is his client, Catherine Gregory. 

    “She picked up a piece of paper that was on the podium or desk and started walking up the aisle to the seats. Within seconds she was pounced upon by Mr. Wintrich who grabbed her around the neck and tried to tackle her and pull her to the ground grabbing for the piece of paper,” Schoenhorn confirmed. 

    Schoenhorn said Wintrich was making “hateful, racist statements” and that his client was motivated by a desire to stop that hate. He defended his client’s actions. 

    “A theft requires an intent to steal to permanently deprive. There’s no evidence of that and that was certainly not Ms. Gregory's intention,” he said. 

    “He's going to suggest that picking up a piece of paper deserves a lawsuit whereas his violent reaction and threats - nevermind the fact that he physically assaulted Ms. Gregory - would be what - understandable under the circumstances? But his provocations would not,” Schoenhorn said. 

    School officials said the photo of Gregory, the associate director of career services and advising on the Danielson campus, was removed from the college’s website. 

    QVCC previously released a statement saying Gregory attended the event as a private citizens and that it does not condone the behavior and encourages peaceful discourse and compassionate debate. 

    Schoenhorn told NBC Connecticut he was not intimidated by the threat of a lawsuit.  

    The event was controversial from the start and students who spoke to NBC Connecticut said they believed he should never have been allowed to speak on campus. On Friday, several students held a march in protest of the speech. 

    UConn has said it supports free speech and does not bar speakers on the basis of content. 

    Wintrich took to Twitter early Wednesday to blame UConn students for being "violent and disruptive." 

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