Suspect in Michael Knowles UMKC assault identified, faces multiple charges
- Police arrested one person Thursday after the individual threw a mysterious substance on conservative commentator Michael Knowles.
- Knowles was speaking at the University of Missouri-Kansas City when it happened.
Police arrested a protester at the University of Missouri-Kansas City after he doused conservative commentator Michael Knowles in a substance "designed to smell like bleach" during a campus speaking engagement.
Knowles, a Daily Wire columnist, was invited to speak at UMKC as a guest of both the university’s Young America’s Foundation and College Republicans chapters. The speech, titled “Men are Not Women,” drew a crowd of protesters, many of whom were escorted out of the room.
Video published by student newspaper UMKC University News shows two officers struggling to handcuff one protester who allegedly threw the mysterious substance on Knowles, a photo of which Knowles tweeted out. On Friday, UMKC identified the individual who was arrested as UMKC student Gerard G. Dabu. Dabu has been charged with assault, peaceful disturbance, assault on law enforcement, property damage, and resisting arrest. Dabu was released on bond.
Wow Republican @michaeljknowles was attacked by a masked leftist that shot an unknown substance at him during his event in Missouri. Police took down the attacker and other leftists had the audacity to scream "hands up don’t shoot" at officers. Lunatics! pic.twitter.com/AGNoNg2fJS— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) April 12, 2019
BREAKING VIDEO: One person injured following protest at event hosted by conservative group Young Americans for Freedom. According to guest speaker Michael Knowles, a student threw bleach at him and was arrested. pic.twitter.com/nBC2B25dXz— UMKC University News (@University0News) April 12, 2019
A student tried to squirt bleach on me during my speech tonight. Lucky for me we was a left-winger and couldn’t even shoot a squirt gun! pic.twitter.com/VHKS4hD4vW— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) April 12, 2019
“Appears the attacker was a hoaxer who was fine getting charged with assault but wanted to avoid a felony,” Knowles added.
Knowles later responded further to the incident in a statement to The Daily Wire, saying “The topic of my lecture was 'Men Are Not Women.'"
"Apparently, this plain fact was so offensive to some leftist thugs that one of them decided to shoot me in the face and side with a super soaker full of what appeared to be glitter-colored bleach.” “This is the kind of violence conservatives on campus stand to face if they state plain facts and refuse to kowtow to leftist fantasy,” Knowles added.
UMKC responded to the incident in a tweet, saying, "we have a responsibility to allow free speech, but we cannot condone physical disruptions of peaceful activities. We believe free speech can be exercised constructively in a way that doesn’t put people at risk. We are gathering facts and will review campus policies & procedures."
UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal issued the following statement Friday regarding the incident.
A student group brought a speaker to campus – a speaker whose professed opinions do not align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion and our goal of providing a welcoming environment to all people, particularly to our LGBT community.
Upon learning of this speaker’s visit, members of our UMKC community responded in the best way – by organizing and conducting a counter-event across campus Thursday afternoon focused on positive messages about diversity and inclusion. And even during the speech, some peaceful protesters stood and expressed disagreement with the speaker’s views.
Then, unfortunately, some others crossed a line. UMKC must maintain a safe environment in which all points of view, even extreme ones, are allowed to be heard.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan