An agitated man allegedly had in his possession what looked to be a bomb. Maldonado was giving a speech titled “Embracing Controversy” at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, MN, as police were called to the scene.
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Maldonado said that the man was “very agitated during the event and was reportedly mixing chemicals together in his backpack in the center of the room before leaving in a hurry. Many members of the audience were disturbed by the erratic behavior and reported the smell of ammonia. Not long after that, the security on campus interrupted my speech to evacuate the building, indicate that there was a mysterious package in the center aisle, and everyone needed to quickly exit the theater. The crowd of more than 85 people quickly filed out of the room to the parking lot outside. Once outside, we prayed briefly, and I was able to actually finish my speech. Other students who had been in different parts of the college also gathered around to join our spontaneous event. Thankfully everyone is safe and the man responsible is in police custody.”
SFLA President Kristan Hawkins said, “I hope everyone who learns about this story takes time to pray for our courageous staff and student leaders as this is just the start of the school year. Last year we saw an incredible increase in violence, which is the sad state of our national dialogue today. Frankly, we believe it will get worse this year, and we are making plans to protect both student free speech rights and those who stand for them.”
Maldonado said that the stressful events would not silence him or the students who joined him last night. “We will continue to promote non-violence to advance the dialogue on the human rights issue of our day. And we will embrace the controversy of abortion and will never stop standing in solidary with pregnant moms, families and their pre-born children.”
Local KIMT3 reported that one man was taken into custody following the threat.