- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A judge has dismissed most of the charges against a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student who was arrested after trying to approach a street preacher on campus.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press (https://bit.ly/L7bQ8H) reports Cole Montalvo is no longer facing charges of inciting to riot, disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice. However, Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes sent one charge - resisting arrest - to a grand jury.

After reading the criminal code for the offenses that Montalvo faced, the judge said he found the evidence lacking. For instance, disorderly conduct would create a hazardous condition.

“I do not feel there was any hazardous condition,” Starnes said. “There also, in this case, was not a properly defined perimeter. It apparently was just put up. There were no signs anywhere.”

Montalvo was charged on Nov. 13, 2013, after crossing a “free speech” perimeter to question street preacher Angela Cummings. Campus security officers and police arrested him after wrestling him to the ground.

Montalvo’s attorney, Franklin Chancey, said his client was about 20 feet away from the preacher when he was arrested. He said Montalvo was calm, didn’t yell and didn’t threaten her.

“His intent was to be engaged in a civil debate,” Chancey said.


Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, https://www.timesfreepress.com

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