- The Washington Times - Friday, October 20, 2017

At least five people were arrested in connection with white nationalist Richard Spencer’s appearance Thursday at the University of Florida, his first on-campus speaking engagement since participating in the deadly Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Two people were arrested Thursday afternoon on the university’s Gainesville campus and another three were arrested about two miles from the school shortly after Mr. Spencer’s event concluded, according to police.

Sean Brijmohan, 28, was charged with possession of a firearm on school property, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office said. Mr. Brijmohan, of Orlando, had been hired by a media organization to provide armed security and was apprehended after a deputy saw him walking on campus with a gun under his shirt, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

David Notte, 34, was charged with resisting an officer without violence, the Sheriff’s Office said. He allegedly rode a bicycle past a police barricade near Mr. Spencer’s event, ignored authorities when he was told to stop and then pulled away from a deputy while being handcuffed, the local ABC News affiliate reported.

About an hour after Mr. Spencer’s speech, three men were arrested for allegedly getting into a confrontation with a group of protesters at a bus stop roughly two miles from campus.

William Henry Fears, 30, Colton Gene Fears, 28, and Tyler Eugene Tenbrink, 28, were all charged with attempted homicide after the latter allegedly opened fire during the altercation.

Mr. Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute, spoke for about 90 minutes Thursday afternoon after he received permission from the university to lease space at its Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The event marked his first on-campus speaking engagement participating in “Unite the Right,” a far-right rally that descended into chaos that ultimately resulted in the death of a counterprotester and two state troopers, according to police.

Administrators and authorities had feared Mr. Spencer’s appearance would trigger violent protests, and Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency days before the event in order to let local law enforcement agencies coordinate resources with state and regional counterparts.

Police agencies said in a joint statement Thursday that the event was “mostly peaceful” and that five people reported receiving minor injuries during the event and were treated at the scene.

“Despite our worst fears of violence, the University of Florida and the Gainesville community showed the world that love wins,” University of Florida President Kent Fuchs said Thursday. “We’re exceptionally grateful to our law enforcement partners and Governor Scott for providing the resources necessary to ensure the safety of our campus and community.”

Mr. Spencer, 39, gained notoriety last year for his association with the so-called “alt-right,” a political movement widely affiliated with racist ideologies including white nationalism and anti-Semitism. He did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.

“I’m very pleased that there was no serious violence or major injuries,” Mr. Spencer told The Washington Times in regards to Thursday’s event.


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