A student from Riverside, California is facing up to a year in jail after snatching a MAGA hat from a fellow student.
In the video of the incident that has since gone viral, Edith Macias can be seen taking Matthew Vitale’s Make America Great Again cap before letting loose a profanity-filled rant. The video was shot by Vitale.
The district attorney’s office said that if Macias is convicted she could face one year in jail.
“I’m very excited that the DA’s office took it seriously,” Vitale told the media. “We can’t thank UCPD enough.”
The criminal complaint against Macias shows that she is being charged with a misdemeanor of petty theft for the altercation that happened on September 27. Her next court date is set for March of 2018.
Vitale is a member of the UC Riverside Republicans and pressed charges immediately after the incident where Macias ripped the hat off his head while attending a campus meeting. She refused to give it back before two cops were called and intervened.
The arrest warrant states that she told one officer she wanted to burn the hat because in her view the phrase “Make America Great Again” represented the “genocide of a bunch of people.”
Cops reviewed the video that was posted on both Macias’ and Vitale’s Facebook pages. The video showed her taking the hat and running away with it all while refusing to hand it back.
Eventually, Macias gave the hat to university staff who in turn gave it back to Vitale.
Vitale was “disappointed” after University Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox issued a diplomatic statement that said, “coequal to our dedication to mutual respect, is our commitment to free speech and the free exchange of ideas.”
“I get the feeling that the school didn’t take it very seriously,” Vitale said.
The incident has led to Vitale and other College Republicans in Southern California creating MAGA Mondays, where they wear their pro-Trump gear on campus.
“I do, very proudly, wear my MAGA hat,” Vitale stated. It was never about the hat though, for him, it was the principle of the thing.
“I’m not doing this to be punitive or see her rot in jail,” he said. “I want people my age to realize that things like this aren’t tolerated in America. We just want to have our rights guaranteed and that’s what it’s all about.”