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Penn State Student Charged After Protest

A Penn State student is facing misdemeanor charges for allegedly ignoring multiple orders from police officers to leave the area during a protest on Monday night outside a planned event on campus that was to feature the founder of the Proud Boys.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Penn State police on Wednesday, Bram Woolley, 23, was part of a large crowd on the north side of the Thomas Building protesting the student-organized event, which was canceled by the university an hour before it was scheduled to begin. After a confrontation in the crowd at about 6:35 p.m., police, including state troopers mounted on horseback, intervened to secure the area around the north doors of the building.

Woolley, of Allentown, allegedly slipped behind the mounted troopers and in front of the building doors. Police wrote that at least four uniformed officers approached Woolley and told him approximately 10 times to move before he was arrested and removed from the area.

“The safety concern created by the defendant due to his proximity to the [state police] horses was evident when his movements caused a… horse to react to his presence in the area,” police wrote. “The defendant was also in an area that needed to be secured for further officers to respond and begin [dispersing] the disorderly crowd.”

Others who were in the area eventually moved as requested, according to the affidavit.

Woolley was charged by summons with misdemeanor counts of failure to disperse upon official order, disorderly conduct, and defiant trespass. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 23.

He is the only person who has been charged in connection with the protest of an event organized by the student group Uncensored America, which was to feature Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and self-described professional troll Alex Stein.

Police said in a statement on Tuesday that they are continuing to investigate incidents surrounding the event, including the use of pepper spray on the crowd by unidentified individuals. Videos that surfaced online show a person entering the crowd and discharging a spray before fleeing the scene. Police did not appear to pursue the person.

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About the Author

Geoff Rushton (StateCollege.com)

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.

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