Four Texas State University students were arrested last Wednesday after a scuffle broke out over a “Make America Great Again” hat- and the arrests have sparked unrest, both online and on campus.
The incident, which took place on May 1 at the San Marcos Campus, escalated after a protester reportedly took one of the red hats from another student.
University Police reported that the students “were arrested by University Police officers and escorted into the University Police Department Office,” and that “One student had to be restrained on the ground by several officers before being escorted into the building.”
Tyvonte Davis-Williams, Nazarene Freeman, Claudia Gasponi and Alejandra Navarrete were arrested in the ensuing melee. Arrest records indicate that Davis-Williams was charged with disorderly conduct-language, while Freeman was charged with interference with public duties and failure to identify. Gasponi was charged with interference with public duties as well as resisting arrest, and Navarrete was charged with providing false information and failure to identify.
The victim, a TSU freshman identified as “Tyler M.,” told Campus Reform that he was the one who had his hat taken from him, and that the incident was caught on film.
When attempting to engage those of differing opinions, Tyler claimed that the female attempted to take his hat from behind me, prompting him to grab her backpack to prevent the theft.
“I only held her [backpack] for a good five seconds…it was never her physically,” Tyler M. said. “As soon as I got out of the crowd, I let go of her bag and I came up beside her and I said, ‘can you please give me back my hat?'”
When police approached the female, she dropped the hat to the ground and kicked it. Shortly later, she and a masked individual -one of several present reportedly associated with Antifa- were put into handcuffs.
The following day, the Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter at Texas State, who are known for their public anti-police sentiment, organized a sit-in on campus and a social media campaign. In one post, they demanded those wearing the red hats be arrested, not the students taking them by force.
Video disseminated by student Camelia Juarez after the incident shows the student acting menacingly towards law enforcement, lunging forward and screaming in a threatening manner.
No injuries were reported.