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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Fundraiser created for men who attacked swastika-wearer

<p dir="ltr"><span>Thomas Moseley, a 20-year-old UF telecommunication junior, shouts at 34-year-old Michael Dewitz (right) on Turlington Plaza on Thursday morning.</span> <span>Dewitz was later attacked after leaving campus.</span></p><p><span> </span></p>

Thomas Moseley, a 20-year-old UF telecommunication junior, shouts at 34-year-old Michael Dewitz (right) on Turlington Plaza on Thursday morning. Dewitz was later attacked after leaving campus.

 

More than $2,000 has been raised to pay for the legal fees of two Gainesville residents who police say attacked and robbed Michael Dewitz, the man who sparked a four-hour protest at UF over his use of a swastika.

After police on Thursday arrrested Daniel Joseph Schexnaydre, 29, and Alex William Flinchum, 26, for stealing Dewitz’s swastika-adorned jacket after the protest, a group named “Students Against Nazis” created an online fundraiser on Saturday to help them.

After the protest, which was held on Turlington Plaza, Dewitz, 34, was confronted on Northwest 13th Street. The men stole his jacket before one of them burned it, police said.

About 119 people have donated to the page, which will go toward Schexnaydre’s and Flinchum’s legal and court fees, according to the website. Police arrested Schexnaydre on charges of unarmed robbery, tampering with evidence and conspiracy. Flinchum was arrested on charges of unarmed robbery and conspiracy.

Organizers for the fundraiser could not be reached for comment. Alex Munger, a Georgia Institute of Technology physics senior, said he saw photos from Facebook of Dewitz and hoped students would take action against him.

“The only way to end fascism, as world history has shown, is to brutally end it,” the 21-year-old said.

Munger said Schexnaydre and Flinchum did the right thing, so he donated $25 to the fundraiser.

Though Lirun Ronen, 20, student president of the Lubavitch-Chabad Student group, said he was disappointed to see photos of Dewitz wearing the swastika, he didn’t think violence was the solution.

“The protest at Turlington was amazing,” the UF aerospace engineering junior said. “I thought (the men) undermined everything we were trying to do on campus that day with the peaceful protest.”

Ronen suggested fundraising for Holocaust awareness instead.

“At the core of it, the problem is a lack of knowledge,” he said.

@MerylKornfield

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Thomas Moseley, a 20-year-old UF telecommunication junior, shouts at 34-year-old Michael Dewitz (right) on Turlington Plaza on Thursday morning. Dewitz was later attacked after leaving campus.

 

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