An Indiana University student caught on video vandalizing pro-life signs has been ordered to pay damages, a pro-life group told LifeNews this week.
Thomas P. Metcalf, 21, a student and liberal activist at the university, faced charges of disorderly conduct, vandalism and larceny-theft after the pro-life group Created Equal caught him on video allegedly destroying their property in early October.
This week, Created Equal President Mark Harrington said a Monroe County judge recently ordered Metcalf to pay for damages and perform 60 hours of community service as punishment for his actions.
“Metcalf spray painted and broke signs while our team was engaging in peaceful pro-life outreach on IU’s campus,” Harrington said. “He also threw bungee cords and metal rods from our equipment which were never recovered.”
In October, Created Equal published a video of the incident. The video shows the young man 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 attempts to remove 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 Metcalf returning and spray-painting several other signs while yelling profanities at the pro-lifers. At one point, he tells a pro-life advocate, “I f—— hate you.” The pro-lifers call the police, and the end of the video shows the police apprehending the man.
The pro-life group did not mention a conviction; however, it said the judge ordered Metcalf to pay damages, court costs and filing fees, complete 60 hours of community service and write an essay for the city prosecutor about an individual’s right to exercise free speech under the First Amendment.
“Metcalf is not the first pro-abortion vandal to attack Created Equal,” Harrington said. “Once again, however, the rule of law has provided a much-needed Constitutional lesson.”
Metcalf is a political extremist with the Young Democratic Socialists at IU and Black Lives Matter, according to the pro-life group. Harrington 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.”
Created Equal did not provide an update about another person in the video, allegedly an Indiana University official who helped Metcalf when he took the pro-life group’s signs.
After the incident occurred, a reporter with The College Fix contacted the Bloomington, Indiana school to ask about the official and other administrators who may have been there when the vandalism occurred. However, according to the news outlet, university spokesperson Chuck Carney refused to identify the official or explain why.
Reports of assaults, vandalism and other harassment against pro-life advocates have been increasing rapidly in the past year. In the fall, LifeNews reported about several assaults on a pro-life advocates in Toronto, Canada. One 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.
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In another, 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 dozens of threats, vandalism and other violence in the past year. These range from death 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 went 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.
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.