EXCLUSIVE: Injured student assaulted during Matt Walsh event
‘As I was recording a protester came up to me [and] hit my left hand as I was recording with a broken finger causing my phone to fly into a mob of protesters,' the student said.
Hundreds of students protested chanting ‘f**k Matt Walsh!'
On Tuesday evening, a member of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), Lane Whitten, was assaulted by protesters during Matt Walsh’s speech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWM).
Whitten, a Campus Reform correspondent, attempts to move through the crowd to make his way to the event hall but was immediately surrounded by a host of protesters chanting “F**k Matt Walsh!, video obtained by Campus Reform shows.
“Before the event started protesters were outside of memorial Union blocking the entrance and chanting about Matt Walsh,” Whitten told Campus Reform. “I was there in a non-political capacity to record the protesters as I’d planned on writing an article about the university’s response to this event.”
The video shows a man walking in front of Whitten, who is holding the camera with his splinted left hand that had been previously injured. The man notices Whitten and the camera saying, “Get that camera out of my face.”
Whitten explained the situation escalated quickly after that.
“As I was recording a protester came up to me [and] hit my left hand as I was recording with a broken finger causing my phone to fly into a mob of protesters,” he said
The unidentified man hit Whitten, knocking the camera to the ground where it was picked up by another protester, the video shows.
“I quickly rushed over to retrieve my phone but one of the protesters had grabbed it and I was subsequently surrounded by protesters who started pushing and shoving me,” Whitten said.
Whitten can be heard yelling in the background for his phone and eventually gets it back.
Whitten tells the protesters, “[d]on’t touch me” as the protesters around him yell, “F**k you” and “get out of my f***king face!”
“My left hand has a broken finger [and a splint] on it which has been recovering and protesters intentionally targeted and hit my left hand knowing that it is injured,” Whitten said after the incident.
Another video after the initial attack shows the protester surrounding Whitten and a different unidentified male pushes against him yelling, “I’m going to break the other m*therf**king arm!”
Whitten asks if the student is threatening him to which the man replies, “Yes, I did. I don’t give no f**ks! I will beat the f**k out of you!”
Whitten told Campus Reform he felt the protest had gotten out of hand because the university police and the administration did not take action to prevent it.
“The University Police refused to take any action to stop these protesters and wouldn’t call in hardly any more police officers leaving conservative students in danger and afraid of getting hurt,” Whitten said.
“This protest is largely due in my view to the lack of responses from the University and their advocation that this speech from Matt Walsh is harmful,” he concluded.
UWM replied to Campus Reform’s request for comment stating that the university had no knowledge of the assault and described the event as “largely peaceful and safe.”
“While the event was largely peaceful and safe, there were a couple incidents that briefly escalated with some pushing and shoving. In those instances, our officers quickly stepped in to diffuse and de-escalate the situation,” UWM stated. “There were no arrests or citations issued at last night’s event.”
The university spokesperson also encouraged anyone who had been the victim or witnessed a crime to report it to the police.
Campus Reform reached out to UWM, YAF, and Matt Walsh. This article will be updated accordingly.
Follow @kliseanderson on Twitter.