A University of California, Riverside student who boasted of stealing a “Make America Great Again” hat in September faces charges that may land her in jail for up to one year.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office has filed a misdemeanor count of grand theft against Edith Marcias, a UC Riverside student who declared “f— your freedom” on Sept. 27 after stealing student Matthew Vitale’s red “MAGA” hat. The victim’s video went viral in conservative media circles shortly afterward.
“I f—ing hate this country. I hate it, and I’m not leaving,” Ms. Marcias said to school officials and Mr. Vitale. “I’m staying here because there’s s— that needs to be fixed here. … We need to get rid of all y’all. … You’re so lucky we’re in a university.”
The education watchdog College Fix obtained a copy of the criminal complaint against Ms. Marcias on Tuesday.
“She stated she wanted to burn the hat because of what it represented,” the student told a responding officer, the document states.
The website added that an old Instagram post by Ms. Macias (now deleted) included the video with a message: “‘Make America Great Again’ coded ‘Continue the Genocide of POC’. You feel safe cuz [sic] you got the cops and politicians on your side. You’re not safe … just saying. We need to make racists scared.”
Mr. Vitale told The College Fix that his decision to legally pursue the matter is based on principle.
“I do want to send a message,” he said. “I am not vindictive, I am not vengeful, but people especially in my generation need to realize you can’t do things like this because you don’t like what someone is saying or wearing.”
The student said he is still trying to determine if the school took any administrative action against Ms. Macias.
“If, as I suspect, UCR decided not to discipline her in some way this decision by the DA’s office shows two things: First, that UCR does not protect and shows no respect for speech that does not conform to their ideology,” he said. “Second, that in this case, UCR chose not to discipline a person who committed a crime on campus against another student.”
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