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Student whose MAGA hat stolen presses charges; thief’s peers demand school protect her, pay her rent

UC Riverside student Matthew Vitale, who had his Make America Great Again hat taken from him by a fellow student, has decided to press criminal theft charges against her, he told The College Fix in an interview Monday.

Meanwhile, peers of the young Latina woman who swiped the hat, Edith Macias, have rallied to her defense, demanding the university protect her from any charges and even pay her rent in a “solidarity” document released Oct. 1.

At issue is an incident last week in which Macias took the bright red MAGA hat right off Vitale’s head during a campus event, an incident that was recorded.

That video was posted on Facebook by Macias, who states in her post: “‘Make America Great Again’ coded ‘Continue the Genocide of POC’. You feel safe cuz you got the cops and politicians on your side. Youre not safe… just saying. We need to make racists scared.”

Vitale ran after her, demanding his hat back, another incident that was recorded. In this case, Vitale was behind the camera as he exchanged words with Macias. She took the hat to the student life office and demand he not be allowed to wear it. That nine-minute video was viewed some 4.5 million times before it mysteriously disappeared off Facebook, Vitale said. (He has since reposted it).

Vitale told The College Fix that at first he declined to press charges because he was told it was only a misdemeanor and he did not want to burden the courts with a minor infraction.

But the “#Snatch a hat” video posted to Macias’ Facebook page, which films her grabbing his hat off his head, shows she took it off his person. That rises to the level of a felony theft charge, he said he was told by campus police.

With that, Vitale said he decided to take a stand.

“I do want to send a message,” Vitale 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.”

“Free speech is under attack on campus,” added Vitale, a leader within the school’s College Republicans. “As cliche as it sounds, the facts of our laws and our Constitution … don’t care about what you feel. For millennials everywhere who believe their feelings give them the right to step on the rights of others — you are sadly misguided. That is not the real world.”

A UC Riverside spokesman did not respond to a request for comment from The College Fix on Monday about the status of the police investigation or the solidarity statement, which called the MAGA hat “a symbol that has come to be associated with a violently anti-immigrant, white supremacist regime.”

The “Statement of Solidarity with Edith Macias” circulating within the campus community states in part that UC administration should “pay for alternate housing accommodations for Macias and their family while simultaneously covering their current housing costs in order to keep them safe from threats of harm.”

The demand cites Vitale’s viral video, saying Macias has been doxxed and threatened as a result. It also calls for administrators to “grant Macias amnesty and protection from any student or legal charges.”

It also seeks a statement against “white supremacist violence” and one in support of sanctuary campuses from campus leaders.

After Vitale’s video went viral, drawing the nation’s attention to the incident at the public university in Southern California, campus leaders sent an email that weighed in on the issue without mentioning it specifically.

“Coequal to our dedication to mutual respect is our commitment to free speech and the free exchange of ideas,” the message stated. “A university requires an environment where students and scholars can freely express ideas and pursue knowledge, while also promoting respectful dialogue among individuals or groups with opposing viewpoints.”

Vitale, 20, an economics major set to graduate next year, said he was a little disappointed with the statement.

“UCR affirms its dedication to free speech, but [adds] free speech has to come under our shared values of mutual respect, which is not freedom of speech,” Vitale said. “The whole point of freedom of speech is to ensure the right to say things reprehensible or mean.”

“I don’t think the MAGA hat is any of those things,” he said. “… But if we don’t protect controversial speech, that is the moment when we lose our liberty.”

MORE: VIDEO — Student swipes peer’s MAGA hat, says ‘f*ck your freedom of speech, boy’

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.

Add to the Discussion

  • Oni-Sendai X

    Stand up for your rights!

  • Jesus is coming..RUN!

    She should spend some time on her face. Make her skin great again.

    • Ralph Davis

      Really. Looks like she got hit by the Ugly Train and sat up for every car.

    • Oldhawker

      Why is she allowed to wear that Halloween mask, and he’s not allowed to wear a MAGA hat?

      • Jesus is coming..RUN!

        OH SNAP!

  • US_Pinay

    Good! She needs to be prosecuted.

    The audacity of this woman to DEMAND for amnesty and a place to stay. World gone mad.

    • Monika

      You misspelled ‘petulant child’.

      • Otpu

        Please check your Spellcheck dictionary, correct spelling is “uppity bitch”.

        • titan uranus

          Odd. My spell checker read it as “spoiled brat with an out-sized sense of entitlement”.

  • lazlototh

    Forget criminal prosecution – no court will do anything. He needs to take her to small claims court for assault and theft and win the whole $2500 or so he can win and then attach her bank account and other assets and then contribute the money to a conservative cause. That will inhibit her fascist and violent behavior and set an example far better than anything else. Don’t prosecute them criminally – the courts can’t be bothered with it. Sue them. Sue Them. SUE THEM!

    • Man_in_PA

      You don’t go to small claims court for assault and theft; you go to the police and press charges.

      • FiscalCon

        You can take her to civil court.

        • PhysicsWon

          Do both. Get the criminal conviction first (should be easy to do), then use that to get the civil judgement.

          • Kneave Riggall

            However, it is hard to collect on a default judgment against a deported “Dreamer”.

  • Michael C. Guinn

    Sue her!

    • DixieRocker94

      She’s one ugly and vile lady.

      • OmegaXIII

        Poor dumb girl probably has a whole shelf of participation trophies.

      • roger

        That’s pretty much the definition of a liberal.

      • Plalaver

        Did you just assume that person’s gender? You must be a transphobic bigot!

  • Kelly Jackson

    Lock her up

  • Rowenna

    I am not generally in favour of using the courts over ‘petty’ issues however whilst this incident in isolation is small it represents a far bigger problem that will only be addressed if people start standing up for their rights and that clearly means using the courts.

    There needs to be consequences for this kind of behaviour – currently it seems that the sentiment is that it is somehow justified so long as the person committing the crime belongs to a leftist victim group and embraces leftist political ideology. That needs to be remedied because it is not acceptable nor justified – it is a behaviour that should not happen regardless of political persuasion.

    A MAGA hat is not, or at least should not be ‘controversial’. Supporting the elected President should never be considered controversial.

    • Jim Sweet

      Better to use the courts for a “petty” theft than let things escalate (which they will and have) and have to use them over spilled blood.

    • Elu Thingol

      A good time for some ‘broken windows’ policing.

    • socratease

      This is not petty, it’s an act of strong-arm robbery and a suppression of civil rights through violence and intimidation, by the assailant’s own on-video admission.

    • Deanimator

      The Pol Pot left gleefully engages in “lawfare”. Everyone else ought to respond in kind with a vengeance.

      • spunknik

        Hoist by their own petard.

      • Ivar Ivarson

        Solidarity with Matthew Vitale. It’s a MAGA cap and the thief’s exploit as ‘SJW privilege’ will encourage and justify worse Leftoid crimes.

  • Maximus300

    Got no problem with him standing up for his rights. This young woman assumed she had the liberty to stomp on his rights to make a political statement which makes it worse in my opinion. As for the demands, no way the school will do it with its own money. Crowdfunding maybe….

    • Tatiana Covington

      And if not, she’s out in the street!

    • Ralph Kern

      My money is on the school caving …

      • m a

        Well, in terms of protecting her from anything, the school isn’t responsible nor would it be held liable for something she initiated, and due to court precedent on government having no duty to protect any individual. As well as CA government code:

        845. Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for failure to establish a police department or otherwise to provide police protection service or, if police protection service is
        provided, for failure to provide sufficient police protection service.

        846. Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for injury caused by the failure to make an arrest or by the failure to retain an arrested person in custody.

        • spunknik

          But can they be held liable for not disciplining her after the fact? Or sued for applying their conduct codes capriciously?

  • CJ IsDa Shiznit

    ‘a symbol that has come to be associated with a violently anti-immigrant, white supremacist regime.’
    a fake association drummed up by sore losers, who are the violent ones…

  • KeenIncite

    If she’s convicted of a felony, that means she won’t be allowed to vote. Sweet justice!!

    • DoggerelPundit

      She won’t be allowed to vote legally, but, as we have seen….

    • Kneave Riggall

      Fuhgeddaboutit, KeenIncite: It’s California.

  • Melanie Somers

    That is one ugly, angry bull-dyke. I hope he wins!

    • The felony crime was captured on video. The cops couldn’t have an easier arrest. The prosecutor couldn’t have better evidence. The only way she’d get off is if the jury throws out the law via jury nullification. After the O.J. murder trial’s not guilty verdict, anything is possible in California courts.

      • Riverside County is 45% Hispanic. That guarantees at least one cholo on the jury who will refuse to convict another member of La Raza, especially one who acted out against a raaaaacist, genocidal Trump supporter.

  • Cary O’Keigh

    Obviously it’s this nasty mongrel that has the politicians on her side or else she would never be in our country in the first place!

  • cheetahkitty

    If she’s a Dreamer, a conviction will be her ticket out of the USA

    • kwijino

      With any luck. Remember that the idiots in Sacramento made Cali a “sanctuary” state, so that outcome is unlikely.

  • CurmudgeonNYC

    This fucking retard wants people to PAY for her housing? Hope she enjoys sitting in a jail cell paid by taxpayers. She is a waste.

    • spunknik

      My guess is that we’ve already paid for much of her housing and her family’s housing for several decades.

      • mikdaley

        You misspelled generations!

  • Parkoff

    What an awful person. Hopefully in the end she’s just another brown person with a felony conviction. That’s what’s wrong with these brown people, ruining their whole lives over nothing. Over some stupid thought in her head. Really an angry angry person. Today she’s stealing hats and acting like the victim, tomorrow it will be murder. Get this thug off the street before she hurts someone. She’s out of control. She can’t even control herself enough not to post evidence of her felony on her own facebook page. And the dumb twat still has it up for all the world to see. What a smart person. /s

  • Yelsewh

    Lock her up!

    • Parkoff

      I don’t care if she serves time, I just want her to be a felon for life. Maybe if she showed some remorse after the fact, but she’s acting like she’s in the right. No you fat twat, you’re just another brown person facing felony charges. All because she is not tolerant of others. What an amazingly fat hypocrite.

  • Concrete Samurai (武士)

    Any UC Riverside Student that harasses this man or attempts to bully him for pressing charges can be charged with, inter alia, felony civil rights violations .. intimidation of state’s witness.

    • Kneave Riggall

      He better start wearing body cams. Front AND back.

  • Dave Hunter

    If purse snatching is a felony then so is hat snatching.

    • Robin of Hood

      I am for the reintroduction of the laws protecting your right to use the highways and byways without let or hinderance. Back in the 18th century the penalty for interfering with someone’s right of way on the king’s Highway was death. A bit harsh, these days a maximum five years in a federal prison will surfice.

  • Tatiana Covington

    He should have put her lights out.

  • creativeusernamehere

    Don’t go around taking stuff that’s not yours. How hard is that?

    • m a

      A lot of these college students need remedial kindergarten. Basic respect, politeness, don’t take/touch other people’s stuff without permission, don’t yell at people.

      • Dave Riggs

        Another one that should be learned in kindergarten: Don’t break in line!
        Applies to the playground, lunchroom, movies and immigration.

    • spunknik

      Tell that to Berkeley kidz that break windows too. Evidently their parents couldn’t teach them.

      • Kneave Riggall

        No, no, no. Many of these “crazy lil communists” WERE taught those lessons by their parents.

        But . . . daddy issues got in the way.

        — Berkeley ’75

  • grandmacaesar

    Wtf, I really don’t get this whole “genocide of POC” crap. When did Donald Trump ever genocide any group? Does she even know what genocide means?

  • Jim Peachy

    Throw the dumb bitch in jail with Hildebeast

  • The_Eyes

    That bitch is genetically inferior. That’s it. Freedom of speech you fat bitch, you are genetically inferior

  • Will

    Don’t let her get away with it ! It will only let other a-holes like her know that they can keep getting away with crap like that !

  • theGOONIES

    Lock her up. Then deport her. Preferably to a deserted island filled with pretty red hats

  • SJW_Skeptic

    They should also use the university system. This woman was definitely harassing and threatening another student. That is against any universities code of behaviour. If the university fails to prosecute then they could be guilty of title IX or race descrimination breeches.

  • Man_in_PA

    Lock her up!

  • Oldhawker

    She’s lucky her freedom of speech is not being attacked. Otherwise it would be impossible for her to post videos of her fat, ugly, offensive self.

  • SGT Ted

    This is what happens when you actively recruit crazy anti-white racists into your schools and let them form weirdo gangs.

  • TheWanderingJewels

    Make an example of her with full penalties. Otherwise this will never stop. Time to break the back of this idiocy

  • Eldrick Wo

    one look and you can tell her political party

  • Jimpithecus

    “The demand cites Vitale’s viral video, saying Macias has been doxxed and
    threatened as a result. It also calls for administrators to “grant
    Macias amnesty and protection from any student or legal charges.””

    She committed a theft in BROAD DAYLIGHT. How is she different from any other purse snatcher? Why should she be treated any differently just because she did it for political rather than financial reasons?

    • Rob C

      It’s even worse than that.

      She committed a theft, filmed the theft, and posted the film of the theft proudly on Facebook. The evidence that she took the hat directly off of him comes from her own camera.

    • Notorious P.I.G.

      UC Riverside must expel her for a Title IX violations. She created an unsafe and hostile learning experience for him.

      • Kneave Riggall

        Now, THAT made me laugh!

    • Comment Monster

      She should be treated differently in that Federal civil rights charges should be brought. And while we’re at it, this meets the definition of a racist hate crime.


    If ya can’t stand the hot sauce, don’t steal the taco, ya deSPICable amiga!!! #MADA FACAS (Make Americans Dominate Against Fascist Aggressive Chicano A$$hole Snowflakes)

  • Deserttrek

    obviously unable to function in a civil society

    at one time people like her were shipped to islands to be with others of their ilk

  • Real_American78

    Expel her.

  • setirovan

    She’s an economics major, what the hell do they teach in economics classes?

    • PhysicsWon

      She must be majoring in Distributive Economics, a new degree offered by the Department of Peace and Social Justice Studies that doesn’t include any of those racist (i.e. math-based) economics courses in the degree plan.

  • Bill Butler

    “That video was posted on Facebook by Macias…” She posted the video and wants to complain that people know who she is? No. You poor sweet little idiot. If this goes to trial, and I really hope it does, the judge is going to watch you give testimony as to your intent, your full knowledge of wrongdoing, and your lack of regret. Nothing you say in court is going to sway the judge’s decision more than what you’ve already said. And, sadly, time in jail is not going to change your attitude. It will certainly change your opportunities in life, but not for the better. You’ll just be another failed bitter person pointing to your jail time and saying it is all the fault of racists when it is your actions alone that will be at fault.

  • Arrest-George_Soros

    She has earned a felony conviction that she will carry for the rest of her life.

  • Publius2

    UCI has been a hotbed of left activism for decades, in particular Muslim Brotherhood.
    Now the radical La Raza racists are following in their footsteps.

    UC Lefty profs are happy to help – but remember: lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.
    UC leadership seems to be out of touch lately- UC Berkeley, Davis, now UCI…
    Seems like the intersectional tribes are employing mob rule, with beta boy Antifa thugz to help.

  • Passenger_Zero

    They are so scared of Trump supporters that they feel comfortable stealing stuff right off their heads? Did. . . they think about that at all?

  • Howba

    When folk who believes in our Constitution, Bill of Rights, laws, rule of law, and most importantly all free speech is called a Nazi, White Supremacist, racist, bigot, and other vile hate words, then everyone is a Nazi, etc., and the name calling fails to have meaning.
    I’m so tired of this snowflake BS.

  • DudeAbiding

    Let’s face it. Liberals are thieves.
    If you think this story is bad, you ought to see what they want to take from you in taxes.

  • m a

    Glad the police let him know this rises to a felony (although given CA’s laws, I find that hard to believe).
    Sounds like they’re tired of the snowflake, cry-baby intimidation/repression/censorship folks.

  • DonnieZen

    Excellent, press on soldier.

  • FiscalCon

    “Coequal to our dedication to mutual respect”

    1) Freedom of speech is enshrined in the Constitution and threats to it represent existential threats to our entire way of life.

    2) Does the university really want to say that we must respect thieves?

  • AntiLeftist

    What is her immigration status? If she’s found guilty of a felony, can she be deported? It would be good for both her and us to get people like her out of the US and back where they belong — in some socialist/totalitarian regime where she wouldn’t be “assaulted” by ideas like freedom, individual responsibility, and the rule of law.

  • DrTorch

    Excellent. Good to see.

  • BruceMacMahon

    Pressing felony charges for snatching a hat? Dude, that’s called being an asshole.

    • Johnathan Swift Jr.

      If she didn’t do the crime, she wouldn’t have to worry about doing the time. One can only imagine what would have happened if a privileged white student did the very same thing to a student of color or anyone from the LGGBDIIIIQQAAPP (Lesbian, Gay, Genderqueer, Bisexual, Demisexual, Transgender, Transexual, Twospirt, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Allies, Pansexual, Polyamorous, for those of you without the current scorecard) Community. If the positions had been reversed and had he stolen something in broad daylight from her, he would already have been arrested and soon to be booted from the school. Brown Privilege Rules apparently.

    • STAN24

      If it fits the legal definition of a felony charge, that’s not the fault of the fellow pressing charges.

      Prosecute these thugs more often, and maybe they’ll stop their thuggery – which is by far the worse offense.

    • Scott

      Snatching a hat off a head is counted as a crime of violence against a person rather than a property crime. That is why it is a felony. She is not being prosecuted for the hat, but for the snatch.

    • Comment Monster

      Your face is an asshole.

  • Golden Rule

    “It also calls for administrators to “grant Macias amnesty and protection from any student or legal charges.””
    A little fuzzy on the concepts of law, government, and school administrator power..

    • Johnathan Swift Jr.

      That’s because they are “educated.”

  • Mark

    Defending free speech is not petty. It is necessary. Long-term slow poisoning kills as surely as a quick knife.

  • Ivar Ivarson

    MAGA hats are going to have to be equipped with TASER circuitry. Even SJWs might learn (yeah, I know, probably to wear gloves) from repeated shocks not to touch other’s property.

  • tigertmoore

    How utterly perfect. “fuck yo laws” says the dindu-nuffin and then a demand that UCR somehow “protect” her? And how are they to do that in a County of CA Courtroom? This is beyond some random snowflake protection of the morons of the UC system and we know those abound. This is a case brought to a Superior Court and the facts stand (1) did she “steal” his hat yes apparently caught on video. (2) Did she finally give it back under coercion yes she did and yet that akin to giving back what you shoplifted after caught. So will this dindu-nuffin get any sympathy yes of course. But if the CA Laws are followed (in a State where folks want to turn the entire State into a Sanctuary State!!!) then she should be set in front of a Judge and convicted and then what? 1,000 buck fine and no jail and no nothing and then let loose to scream and yell and taunt and do it again with impunity. How utterly perfect in description of our day and age. But no worries as the Law of Karma will come around one fine day and bite her large ass right off. That day is coming and she will not be prepared for it as she is a dindu-nuffin and those types never ever think for one moment of consequence for their protection is their skin color and gender. Exactly perfectly the same 2 items they would scream bloody murder for being judged for of course.

  • John Testa

    The student is a thief. Send her to jail.

  • Miles Archer

    Give the young lady the rights and dignity inherent in our system of justice. Prosecute to the fullest.

  • Jackson Caldwell

    Another brown trying to get money for nothing, figures.

  • dzhugashvili

    If you subsidize something you get more of it. If you tax something you get less of it. In the US we subsidize non-working, consumption, debt, and hate of America. We tax production, savings, working, and wealth creation. The result is this sad excuse for student, let alone a person.

  • The university needs to expel her, not protect her. That bitch threatened him as well as stole his property. She shouldn’t be part of the University because she also said that white people got to go, which sounds like a clear application and she wants white people to die.

  • Dianna Zerbe

    She was very hateful to this young man! He is right to press charges! Does she believe she has special rights?

  • RhythmicallyPulsingGoo

    Why the f*** do people use “Latina”? It is not a word in the English language, which last I checked does not have gendered adjectives as a general rule. Are we going to adopt double negative next?

  • Ted G

    “The College Fix on Monday about the status of the police investigation or the solidarity statement, which called the MAGA hat “a symbol that has come to be associated with a violently anti-immigrant, white supremacist regime.””

    The above is not only BS, its not true at all and exactly why this needs to be prosecuted!