Three college students were arrested after allegedly setting fire to the Louisiana dorm room of another student, who is involved in several conservative organizations.
Robert Money, 21, and David Shelton, 20, who attend Tulane University, were arrested, along with Naimi Okami, 20, a Brown University student. Police said they were caught on security cameras.
Money, Shelton, and Okami were each charged with one count of aggravated arson after being arrested on March 23 and they appeared in court on March 24 before being released on bail.
According to The Advocate, they could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The student whose dorm room was set on fire was identified as Peyton Lofton, who is president of Tulane’s chapter of Turning Point USA, a popular conservative organization. Lofton is also part of a Libertarian group called Young Americans for Liberty.
“It’s a sad day in America when radical activists are lighting dorm room doors on fire because they disagree with you politically,” Lofton said in a statement.
“I’m proud of the work I’m doing on and off campus with YAL and TPUSA to bring students to the principles of the Constitution and individual liberty. This only encourages me to continue the battle to reach my classmates with the message of freedom.”
Mike Strecker, a spokesman for the school, told WVUE that there was no indication that the act was politically motivated and said the motivation for the three accused to set fire to the door was “not yet clear.”
Police haven’t commented as of yet.
“Tulane University is committed to protecting the safety of all in our community and to protecting free speech on campus. Our campuses are and should remain places where ideas can be expressed free of disruption, intimidation, and violence,” Strecker said.
Wonder if the media will report this horrible crime against a campus conservative? https://t.co/0ER3O8NSD6
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 23, 2019
Lofton’s roommate Jackson Arnold said that he didn’t know any of the accused and doesn’t think Lofton did either.
“I think it was probably a drunk prank. I don’t want to rule out the idea that it was politically motivated. Don’t have any proof that it is, don’t have any proof that it isn’t,” Arnold told the Tulane Hullabaloo, the school newspaper.
But several others said they believed Lofton was targeted because of his activism.
Charlie Kirk, president of TPUSA, said in a statement that Lofton “was recently doxxed by the violent left for being a conservative” and that his door “was literally SET ON FIRE after he was doxxed.”
President Donald Trump’s son sent Kirk’s tweet post again on Twitter and wondered “if the media will report this horrible crime against a campus conservative?”