An Indiana student is facing charges after pro-life advocates say he stole and vandalized several of their signs Oct. 4 at Indiana University in Bloomington.
The pro-life group Created Equal said Thomas P. Metcalf, 21, a student at the university, is facing charges of disorderly conduct, vandalism and larceny-theft after they caught him on video destroying their property last week.
A video of the incident shows a man, allegedly Metcalf, stealing several of the pro-life group’s signs and putting them in a car. A few seconds later, a pro-life advocate identified as Samuel Riley approaches and removes the signs from the car. Then, a second man, allegedly a university official, offers to close the first man’s car door before he drives away.
Later, the video shows the first man returning and spray-painting several other signs while yelling profanities at the pro-lifers. The pro-lifers call the police, and the end of the video appears to show the police apprehending the man.
Created Equal President Mark Harrington said the university assigned officials to watch the site where they were doing their pro-life outreach, but the officials did nothing when the student stole their signs.
“Samuel had to call police and chase the perpetrator himself because of the administration’s failure to intervene,” he said.
Harrington told LifeNews that Metcalf is a political extremist and a member of the group Young Democratic Socialists of America at IU and Black Lives Matter.
The pro-life group pointed to a video that appears to show Metcalf speaking at an anti-Kavanaugh rally and holding a “Your Voice Matters” sign. Right after his speech, someone leads the crowd in chanting: “It is right to rebel. Smash the fascists, give them hell.”
Harrington said he is not surprised, given the recent political rhetoric of pro-abortion Democrats.
“When leaders of the political left from Eric Holder to Corey Booker to Hillary Clinton are making statements that Democrats should not be civil in dealing with whom they disagree, it follows that abortion activists like Metcalf are going to take those words to heart and act upon them,” he said. “Thankfully in this case, no one got harmed, but unless abortion advocates call for civility, I don’t know how long that is going to last.”
Reports of assaults, vandalism and other harassment against pro-life advocates have been increasing rapidly in the past several months. On Wednesday, LifeNews also reported another assault on a pro-life advocate in Toronto, Canada – the second reported in less than two weeks. The incident, which was captured on video, shows a woman shoving and throwing a metal cart at Katie Somers, a pro-life advocate with Toronto Against Abortion.
Earlier this month, a pro-life advocate with Campaign Life Coalition also reported being assaulted, allegedly by abortion activist Jordan Hunt, during a different pro-life rally Sept. 30 in Toronto. Police said Hunt turned himself in after a video of the assault went viral.
LifeNews has reported about dozens of threats, vandalism and other violence in the past year. These range from threats against prominent pro-life politicians like U.S. Reps. Chris Smith, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Steve Scalise to a Missouri sidewalk counselor who had a gun pointed at him.
In September, a popular conservative blogger was under police protection after she received rape and death threats because of a pro-life tweet. In June, a Florida man who volunteers at Planned Parenthood was arrested after he allegedly threatened to kill pro-life U.S. Rep. Brian Mast’s children. Then in August, someone threatened to rape and kill the family of a pro-life advocate with Operation Rescue.
This week, Students for Life of America also reported a spate of vandalism, including posters being torn down at Woodson High School in Virginia, signs and flags being stolen at University of Nebraska-Omaha, and posters being torn down at Robert Morris University and Kutztown University.