- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A graduate instructor at the University of Illinois faces criminal charges after he was seen on video aggressively confronting a group of conservative students and damaging a student’s cellphone.

Tariq Khan, a Ph.D. candidate who has taught multiple courses at the college, was arrested at an anti-Donald Trump rally last week for criminal damage to property, The Daily Illini student newspaper reported Monday.

According to videos  published by Campus Reform and The College Fix, Mr. Khan was speaking at the rally when he was interrupted by a group of conservative students who were protesting the event.

A student identified as Joel Valdez, executive board member and campus activism coordinator for Turning Point USA at the university, heckled Mr. Khan at the event, yelling, “No one’s scared of you, 50-year-old man! Don’t you have kids to look after?”

Mr. Khan charged the group and repeatedly accused Mr. Valdez of threatening his children. At one point, Mr. Khan appeared to assault one of the students and snatch his cellphone. He then starts to walk away and the students can be heard saying they’re going to call the police. Mr. Khan threw the phone on the sidewalk and left.

The University of Illinois Police Department reported that Mr. Khan forcibly took a student’s cellphone and threw it on the ground, breaking it, The Daily Illini reported.

“Khan immediately charged us, pushing us, throwing punches,” Mr. Valdez told the newspaper. “We then attempted to defuse the situation and remained calm, but Tariq was uncontrollable and unhinged. I’m certain that Khan knew there was no threat; he just wanted to look for a fight. I wasn’t interested.”

Mr. Khan said he didn’t assault anyone.

“I did not confront them out of the blue. In fact, they showed up to the rally to intimidate and surveil leftist student organizers. One of their members … made a veiled threat against my children,” he told the newspaper. “It’s one thing to criticize my politics, it’s entirely another thing to threaten my children.”

“I did not ‘assault’ anyone,” he said. “I will not tolerate threats against my children, certainly not from a member of the ‘alt-right’ movement.”

Mr. Khan was issued a state of Illinois notice to appear in court for criminal damage to property.

(Warning: Cursing heard in the video below.)

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