A fight erupted during an event being held at the University of Connecticut, featuring conservative-leaning political commentator Lucian Wintrich. As crowds dispersed from the event, someone allegedly threw a smoke bomb inside the building.
The event that led to the fight on Tuesday was called ‘It’s OK To Be White,’ and was sponsored by the UConn College Republicans student group. Wintrich, the White House correspondent for the right-leaning blog Gateway Pundit, was arrested for allegedly assaulting a student following the commotion, UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said, WTNH reported.
But Jim Hoff of Gateway Pundit released a tweet saying that Wintrich told him he is now free from police custody, and was arrested for his own protection.
Gateway Pundit previously stated that the Tuesday night speech revolved around “identity politics” in today's culture and political landscape, according to WTNH.
One video showed a female attendee taking a paper from Wintrich before the fight broke out.
Following the incident, UConn released a statement saying the fight started when a “guest at the event appeared to remove paperwork from the lectern where Mr. Wintrich was speaking.” The school went on to say that Wintrich then followed the guest “into the audience, where the altercation occurred.”
Before the fight broke out, some in the crowd started chanting, “Go home Nazi.”
A statement released by UConn denied reports of police using tear gas against crowds during the commotion.
“UConn Police also are investigating an incident in which someone broke a window in the lecture hall as the crowd was leaving and threw a smoke bomb inside. This led to speculation as to whether police had discharged tear gas, but that was not accurate – no tear gas was used or needed.”
A photo of the shattered window was taken by WTNH.
Wintrich has been on a speaking tour of college campuses, and his talk at the University of Massachusetts Boston earlier this month was rescheduled for February due to safety concerns, according to the Gateway Pundit.