Four arrested after student's MAGA hat is allegedly stolen (VIDEO)
The incident happened after the conservative student says he attempted to have a conversation with leftist protesters.
Four students, including the one who allegedly grabbed and kicked the hat, were arrested.
A Texas State University student told Campus Reform his MAGA hat was grabbed off his head and later kicked while it was on the ground.
Four Texas State University students were arrested Wednesday after a conservative student says one of them grabbed a "Make America Great Again" hat off his head and later kicked it as it lay on the ground.
Tyler M., a Texas State University freshman, told Campus Reform by phone that he was the one wearing the MAGA hat as the incident, captured on video, unfolded. Tyler M. asked that his last name not be revealed out of fear that he could be doxxed or otherwise targeted.
Tyler M. told Campus Reform that just before the incident took place, he and some friends had walked over to an area on campus where a leftist group was counter-protesting the anticipated protest of a conservative biker group. The biker group, named Texas Nomads SAR, states that it "believe[s] in protecting those attacked and targeted for expressing their God-given rights guaranteed by the constitution...in charities and giving back to those in need. We believe our veterans and warriors should come before refugees and illegal criminals. As Americans, we know radical Islam and sharia law have no place in this country."
The biker group had planned a protest at Texas State University over the student government's failed attempt in April to ban the conservative group Turning Point USA from campus, the Austin Statesman reported. According to a Wednesday statement from the university, Texas Nomads SAR never showed.
As the conversation between Tyler M. and the leftist protesters continued, a crowd gathered around them, Tyler M. told Campus Reform.
"Again, none of our conservative people were ever instigating anything," Tyler M. said. "I can guarantee that. No one was ever yelling or shouting over people. We were all very patient."
At another point, he said that he "just wanted to talk" with the protesters. Tyler M. said that as bystanders tried to quell the tension, "that's when I felt someone kind of come up behind me and kind of grab my hat, lift it up, and try to run away."
Tyler M. said he chased after the girl and grabbed her backpack to slow her down. He told Campus Reform that he only touched her backpack.
"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?'"
The Texas State student said police later approached the student who was holding his hat and asked her to give it back. Tyler M. said she "hesitated at first but then she did drop it and as soon as the hat fell on the floor [sic] she kicks it."
That's the moment when Tyler M. said he began recording -- footage he shared exclusively with Campus Reform.
Tyler M. said that as he was picking his hat up off the ground, he saw police placing the student who grabbed and kicked his hat, as well as a masked person, whom he referenced as "Antifa," into handcuffs.
Texas State University released a statement Wednesday afternoon, which stated that four students were arrested "on various charges."
The Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter at Texas State tweeted shortly after the arrests, "don't cuff students, cuff the haters."
— YDSA @ TXST ?? (@TXSTYDSA) May 1, 2019
The incident comes as the Texas state legislature is debating a campus free speech bill, which Republican Rep. Briscoe Cain helped spearhead.
"The college campus is not supposed to be an intellectual safe space," Cain told Campus Reform Wednesday. "In trampling on a hat the student found offensive, the student trampled on the Constitution. The Constitution mandates the tolerance of ideas, not the tolerance of the infringement of the personal liberties of others. I hope Texas State University does the right thing and disciplines students who censor the speech of others."