Student charged with grand theft for snatching MAGA hat

Nikita Vladimirov
Investigative Reporter

  • A University of California, Riverside student who snatched a “Make America Great Again” hat from a classmate's head now faces up to one year in jail for grand theft.
  • Under California law, "grand theft" refers not only to the theft of property worth more than $950, but also applies when "property is taken from the person of another."
  • A University of California, Riverside student who snatched a “Make America Great Again” hat from a classmate's head now faces up to one year in jail for grand theft.

    Edith Macias, a student who was filmed taking possession of Matthew Vitale’s hat and taking it to the school’s Student Life Department, has been charged with one misdemeanor count of grand theft, as revealed in documents reviewed by The College Fix.

    "I’m very pleased that the DA decided to charge her, especially because I am skeptical that UCR student conduct did anything."   

    [RELATED: Angry student steals MAGA hat, demands victim be punished]

    According to California’s Penal Code 487, grand theft is committed when “the property is taken from the person of another.”

    A local law group further explains that the statute applies to cases where the property “was taken directly off of the property owner, no matter how much the property is worth (i.e. taken from the clothing of, on the body of, or in a container held or carried by a person, as in a mugging).”

    The lengthy video of the incident that Vitale captured on his cellphone in September showed Macias ranting about the hat and claiming that it “represents genocide,” while another video that was incautiously posted to Macias’ Facebook page actually depicts the moment at which she snatches the hat from Vitale’s head while he stands in a crowded auditorium.

    “So this guy thought it would be a good idea to go into a conference wearing this f***ing hat,” the student who stole the hat states in the video. “Look at the kind of sh*t he’s wearing, You know what this represents? This represents genocide—genocide of a bunch of people.”

    The student also refused to return the hat to the property owner until it was retrieved by a school administrator who later restored its rightful possession.

    “F*** your f***ing freedom of speech, boy,” Macias told Vitale. “F***it. F*** it because your freedom of speech is literally killing a lot of people out there. That’s what it is, because you’re out there wearing hats like these that promote laws and legislations that literally kill and murder in the masses people of color.”

    [RELATED: Berkeley student assaulted for MAGA hat one day after riots]

    According to the publication, the court is set to review the case in March with Macias facing up to year in county jail, if convicted.

    “I’m very pleased that the DA decided to charge her, especially because I am skeptical that UCR student conduct did anything,” Vitale told The Fix. “I will be following up with the student conduct office to determine if anything was done.”

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    Nikita Vladimirov

    Nikita Vladimirov

    Investigative Reporter
    Nikita Vladimirov is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he wrote for The Hill, where he extensively covered the latest political developments in U.S. and around the world. Vladimirov's work has appeared on the front pages of The Drudge Report and The Hill, and has been featured by several media organizations including Fox News, MSN, Real Clear Politics and others. He has also appeared as a political commentator on numerous programs, including BBC radio.
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