Three students have been arrested for setting fire to the dorm room door of Tulane University student and right-wing group leader Peyton Lofton.
A spokesman for the school, Mike Strecker, confirmed that two Tulane University sophomores and a student visiting from another college set fire to Lofton’s door on Saturday night, Fox 8 Live reported. The incident was captured by surveillance cameras, noted Strecker. No one was hurt from the fire, as the flames were quickly put out.
The alleged perpetrators have been identified as Robert Money, 21, David Shelton, 20, and Naimi Okami, a 20-year-old visiting the school from Brown University.
Lofton leads a chapter of the libertarian/conservative campus group Turning Point USA (TPUSA). The founder of TPUSA, Charlie Kirk, posted photos of Lofton’s door to Twitter on Saturday. Kirk noted that the chapter leader was recently doxxed — meaning his political opponents shared the student’s personal information online, which is typically done to encourage harassment or even physical harm.
Money, Shelton, and Okami were arrested and booked at Orleans Justice Center jail on Saturday night, reported Fox 8 Live, noting that all three students were charged with one count of arson. “They all appeared in court the next day, where Orleans Parish Magistrate Commissioner Brigid Collins set their bonds at $10,000 each. As of Sunday night, it appeared all three had been released on bail,” the report added.
According to Nola.com, the amount of monetary damage done to the door affects what consequences the charge carries:
If the damage done amounts to five hundred dollars or more, the charge carries a fine up to $15,000 and imprisoned at hard labor for two to five years. Where the damage is less than five hundred dollars, the charge carries a fine up to $2,500 or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than five years, or both.
While the motive of the attack has yet to be identified by authorities, Lofton said he was targeted for his political views.
“It’s a sad day in American when radical activists are lighting dorm room doors on fire because they disagree with you politically,” the student said in a statement. “I’m proud of the work I’m doing on and off campus with YAL and TPUSA to bring students to the principles of the Constitution and individual liberty.”
“This only encourages me to continue the battle to reach my classmates with the message of freedom,” concluded Lofton.
In a statement concerning the incident, Strecker assured the public that Tulane University is committed to free speech.
“Tulane University is committed to protecting the safety of all in our community and to protecting free speech on campus. Our campuses are and should remain places where ideas can be expressed free of disruption, intimidation and violence,” the spokesman said.
On Saturday, Donald Trump, Jr., the president’s eldest son, highlighted the incident on Twitter, calling on the mainstream media to cover the attack. “Wonder if the media will report this horrible crime against a campus conservative?” he rhetorically asked.
Last month, video footage captured a conservative activist being physically assaulted on the University of California-Berkeley campus. Trump Jr. was also quick to flag the incident, at the time. “When a liberal like Jussie cries wolf and fakes an attack he receives unmatched coverage, sympathy & support creating a tsunami of attention. When a conservative student literally gets punched in the face and it’s caught on video it barely makes a ripple,” he wrote.
Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order seeking to protect free speech on college campuses and universities, which, as noted by The Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow, was largely ignored by the mainstream media.
“At a ceremony in the East Room this afternoon, President Trump took a step he hopes will ensure all voices are heard on college campuses across the nation,” said Fox News Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts. “In an executive order, the President directed his cabinet agencies to tie federal grants for education and research to more aggressive enforcement of the First Amendment.”
“The move follows incidents at several colleges and universities where conservatives have been targeted, including UC-Berkeley were a student, Aidan Williams, was punched in the face for supporting the President and conservative policies,” the reporter added.