Attorney for QVCC employee accused of taking script from conserv - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Attorney for QVCC employee accused of taking script from conservative commentator releases statement

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Conservative speaker Lucian Wintrich was arrested on Tuesday after he lunged at a woman who appeared to have taken his notes. (WFSB) Conservative speaker Lucian Wintrich was arrested on Tuesday after he lunged at a woman who appeared to have taken his notes. (WFSB)
Catherine Gregory was accused by conservative speaker Lucian Wintrich of stealing his property during a speech at UConn. (QVCC photo) Catherine Gregory was accused by conservative speaker Lucian Wintrich of stealing his property during a speech at UConn. (QVCC photo)
Sean Miller was arrested in connection with a window that was broken on the UConn campus following the Lucian Wintrich event. (UConn police) Sean Miller was arrested in connection with a window that was broken on the UConn campus following the Lucian Wintrich event. (UConn police)
STORRS, CT (WFSB) -

An employee of a community college was accused by a conservative speaker of taking the script from him and igniting a fight on the University of Connecticut campus.

Catherine Gregory was confirmed to be a student advisor at the Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, the school said. According to its website, she's an associate director of career services and advising.

QVCC issued a statement about the incident on Thursday afternoon.

"Quinebaug Valley Community College confirms that one of its employees attended a speech given by Mr. Wintrich at the University of Connecticut." the statement read. "The employee attended on her personal time and QVCC learned about the incident when reported in the media. The College does not condone the behavior and encourages peaceful discourse and compassionate debate. The employee attended the event as a private citizen."

The school said it spoke with Gregory about the incident. It also said she is still employed.

Her picture was taken down along with other staff members Wednesday. QVCC officials said they did it to protect their employees.

On camera, Gregory appears to take the notes of Gateway Pundit commentator Lucian Wintrich off of a podium during Wintrich's "It's OK to be White" speech on Tuesday.

The incident led to a fight at the UConn College Republicans' sponsored event during which Wintrich was arrested by UConn police.

Jon Schoenhorn, who is the attorney for Gregory, said "within that context," his client's "reaction is measured and understandable." 

"It is my position as Ms. Gregory’s attorney that there is no cause to believe that what Miss Gregory did constituted a “larceny” or theft because she by picking up a piece of paper off a desk. The fact that the Republican club sponsored an event with a racist and bigoted speaker reflects poorly on the Republicans and UConn for permitting it. This is not a question of free speech. The racist and bigoted remarks that were made by Mr. Wintrich and his display of an image of Adolph Hitler were intended to cause and provoke a hostile reaction," Schoenhorn said in a statement on Thursday.

Schoenhorn explained why Gregory took the paper.

"Mr. Wintrich was right at that moment, using hate speech, racist, bigoted remarks with the intent to provoke the audience," Schoenhorn said.

Schoenhorn argues it was Wintrich, who essentially triggered the backlash by giving his speech.  

"There is no aspect of theft," Schoenhorn said.

Wintrich was seen lunging at Gregory in the video, which led to her being dragged to the ground. He was charged with breach of peace and released on a $1,000 bond.

"It doesn't matter if it's a speech or a stock-bond from 1910," Wintrich previously told Eyewitness News. "It was my property that this woman, that this college advisor was able to steal from the lectern."

Schoenhorn isn't denying what Channel 3 cameras clearly caught, but he will argue that what you saw isn’t stealing.

"A theft is taking someone’s wallet and intend to permanently deprive the person," Schoenhorn said. 

Wintrich posted to social media that he would "peruse legal justice against the woman who stole my property and the university that failed to secure my freedom of speech and safety."

"The officers on duty refused to intervene before the situation with protesters escalated," Wintrich previously told Eyewitness News. "They should have never been able to get up to the stage."

Wintrich said he was outraged that Gregory has yet to be charged.

"It's absurd to me that this woman apparently wasn't arrested," Wintrich previously told Eyewitness News.

Schoenhorn said he believes Gregory was provoked and won’t be offering up any apologies either.

"What Mr. Wintrich did was with the intention, to incite the audience. That’s exactly what he wanted and that is exactly what he got," Schoenhorn said. 

Channel 3 went to the home of Gregory, but no one was home at the time. 

UConn did make one other arrested in connection with the incident.

Police arrested 19-year-old Sean Miller, of Glastonbury, after he broke a window while people were leaving. He was charged with breach of peace and criminal mischief.

UConn said it is reviewing the video and more charges and arrests could follow.

UConn's president has spoken with the young Republicans group on campus about what happened. Channel 3 reached out to them but they have not made a statement since. 

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