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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Student's lawyer says Meyer is resting after Monday's incident

On Tuesday, Andrew Meyer rested. His lawyer, Robert Griscti said the stress of being tackled, Tasered and incarcerated took its toll on the UF telecommunication senior.

In an interview before a press conference, Griscti said Meyer wouldn't comment because everything is "moving too fast."

During the conference, Griscti said Meyer would cooperate with all investigations into the incident.

As far as what happened at the campus forum Monday afternoon, Griscti said, "The videotape speaks for itself."

During a speech sponsored by Accent, Student Government speakers bureau, Meyer asked Sen. John Kerry questions about politics, Kerry's involvement in a secret society during college and the 2004 presidential election.

After a few minutes, Meyer's microphone was cut off because he used profanity, said Steven Blank, Accent chairman.

As Kerry attempted to answer Meyer's questions, several University Police Department officers began to pull Meyer away from the microphone.

In an official statement, Kerry wrote that he asked police to allow him to answer Meyer's questions and was doing so when Meyer was taken away.

"I regret enormously that a good, healthy discussion was interrupted," Kerry wrote, adding that he believes he could have handled the situation himself.

"In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way," Kerry wrote.

As Meyer struggled, more officers tried to pull him outside, finally tackling him to the ground.

Six officers held Meyer down as he screamed, while one officer Tasered him.

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Meyer was arrested and charged with a third-degree felony for resisting arrest with violence and a second-degree misdemeanor for disturbing the peace.

The maximum penalty for the felony is five years in prison and a ,5,000 fine. The misdemeanor could mean 60 days in prison and a ,500 fine.

Griscti said he thinks it's extremely unlikely that Meyer will receive those maximum punishments.

At his arraignment Tuesday morning, Meyer accepted his criminal charges and was allowed to leave on the condition that he would return for a criminal trial. The trial date has not been set.

After the arraignment, Griscti said he thought the Taser use was inappropriate.

He said he didn't think Meyer posed a threat to anyone at the speech, and there were enough officers to usher him outside without using force.

Griscti said he would fight for complete dismissal of Meyer's charges.

Amos Eshel, a UF computer science and math senior and friend of Meyer, sat quietly in the back of the courtroom.

Later that day, Eshel said he has known Meyer since middle school.

"He does like to speak his mind," he said.

He added that Meyer is not the type of person to start major trouble.

"This has been blown way out of proportion," Eshel said. "He's being made into a martyr."

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