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Rantz: ‘Antifa’ member arrested for trying to imprison Republican students in classroom

Ezra Brenner is arrested on UW's campus. (Photo courtesy of Operation Cold Front)

UPDATE 06-05-19 2:26pm: According to the police report, sent to us by one of the victims, the suspect is identified as Ezra Benner. The disorderly conduct claim will be submitted to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg’s office.

An alleged member of a local antifa group was arrested Monday evening for attempting — and very badly failing — to chain the doors, locking conservative students in a University of Washington classroom.

The final meeting of the UW College Republicans (UWCR), held in Thompson Hall, featured two guest speakers from a local YouTube channel, Operation Cold Front. The meeting caught the attention of Emerald City Antifa. On their Facebook page, the group encouraged members to show up to disrupt the event.

One person did show up, though it’s unclear if he’s directly connected with the Facebook page. But he didn’t try to simply disrupt the event; he tried to lock the students in the hall with a chain and lock.

“I saw a guy in black approach the door but there had been no protest outside or anything so antifa wasn’t necessarily on my radar,” UWCR member Zach Wildfang told The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “He crouched down and immediately slapped his chain around the door.”

The chaining didn’t work. It made lots of noise, as chains against doors tend to do, and it immediately alerted the students inside, one already standing guard.

“We heard the rattling from inside,” UWCR president Chevy Swanson told Rantz. “We looked to see through the window and see that someone was messing with the door. And it’s very clearly a chain being attached. So personally I ran up to the door and opened it on him, the chain fell to the ground, and he ran off, which is good because I much prefer not to be chained in a room with 30 other people indefinitely.”

The entire incident was caught on video by Operation Cold Front. The suspect, who covered his face in a black cloth until cops removed it, is seen on camera saying “Find the law that it is illegal to dangle a chain over a door!” Then, as seen on the edited video, he’s handcuffed and taken away.

Swanson says he recognizes the suspect from other recent UWCR events, though this is the first time he’s been disruptive. UW Police haven’t publicly identified the suspect, but confirmed he’s an 18-year-old who attends a special high school class on campus.

“One of the other attendees of the event caught up to him,” Swanson says, “and called the police and the police end up coming and arresting him.”

UW Police confirmed the suspect was interviewed and released, and will be “charged through investigation” for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Because the attempt failed so miserably, many of the student attendees thought it was funny, after they got over the shock of the failed imprisonment.

The UWCRs have been behind a number of events campus progressives deemed offensive. Last month, they hosted an “affirmative action bake sale” to point out the unfairness of affirmative action. It was a contentious event that lead to a lot of shouting and one arrest (though the suspect wasn’t charged).

Afterwards, UW President Ana Mari Cauce condemned the event — and declared war on free speech. Here, Cauce has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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