A conservative commentator was arrested at the University of Connecticut on Tuesday evening after a fight broke out during his speech titled "It's OK to Be White."
Lucian Wintrich, 29, a White House correspondent for the right-wing blog Gateway Pundit, spoke at UConn's Andre Schenker Lecture Hall. But during the event, sponsored by the UConn College Republicans, he was repeatedly interrupted by audience members booing and chanting.
Videos posted online show two audience members approaching Wintrich's podium. A woman appears to grab a piece of paper from the podium and then start to leave. Wintrich is then seen following her up an aisle and grabbing her from behind, apparently trying to retrieve the paper.
A commotion then ensues, involving Wintrich and numerous audience members. Campus police then quickly step in and take Wintrich to a nearby restroom.
According to the Chicago Tribune, windows in the area were shattered and UConn police were investigating a smoke bomb that was set off outside the lecture hall.
Approximately 100 students waited outside for Wintrich to be brought out by police. Instead, he was brought out through the back of the hall and placed into a police cruiser, with many students chased after it, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Stephanie Reitz, a UConn spokeswoman, confirmed that Wintrich was held by campus police and charged.
"It's really unfortunate that some of the kids at @UConn felt the need to be violent and disruptive during a speech that focused on how the leftist media is turning Americans against each other," Wintrich wrote on Twitter early Wednesday after he was released from police custody. "Tonight proved my point."
"UConn police are also investigating an incident in which someone broke a window in the lecture hall as the crowd was leaving and threw a smoke bomb inside," Reitz added. "This led to speculation as to whether police had discharged tear gas, but that was not accurate. No tear gas was used or needed.”
Reitz said a student was charged with breach of peace and criminal mischief for allegedly breaking a window as people were leaving the event.
Reitz said that student was not charged in connection with a smoke bomb that was thrown inside at one point. That remained under investigation. She also said police were reviewing videos to determine if any other charges or arrests were warranted.
UConn President Susan Herbst called it "a very disappointing evening."
"We live in a tense and angry time of deep political division. Our hope as educators is that creative leadership and intellectual energy can be an antidote to that sickness, especially on university campuses," Herbst said. "Between the offensive remarks by the speaker who also appeared to aggressively grab an audience member and the reckless vandalism that followed, that was certainly not the case on our campus tonight. We are better than this."
Social media posts showed posters for the event had either been torn down or vandalized, Hartford's FOX 61 reported.
Campus police said beforehand that they would be taking measures to ensure public safety.
According to FOX 61, a talk with the same title, scheduled for the University of Massachusetts, Boston, has reportedly been postponed until February due to safety concerns.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.