Two protesters at Daily Wire host Michael Knowles’ debate on transgenderism at the University of Pittsburgh were indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday.
The U.S. Attorney’s office named the two protesters indicted as Brian DiPippa, 36, and his wife, Krystal DiPippa, 40. Both have been charged with conspiracy and obstruction of law enforcement, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. Brian DiPippa was additionally charged with using an explosive to commit a federal felony.
“The DiPippas participated in a protest at the O’Hara Student Center on the University of Pittsburgh campus, at which time Brian DiPippa ignited and dropped two homemade smoke bomb containers in and around a line of persons waiting to enter the O’Hara Student Center to attend a scheduled event featuring guest speakers,” the release said.
“The Indictment further alleges that, when Pitt Police officers gathered and formed a barrier to prevent the protesters from entering the rear of the building, Brian DiPippa, concealed by his wife, Krystal DiPippa, ignited and threw a large explosive firework into the group of Pitt officers, causing a loud explosion and injuries to several officers.”
The charges of conspiracy and obstruction of law enforcement come with a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, or both. Using an explosive to commit a federal felony carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
In reaction to the charges, Knowles tweeted, “Very pleased to see the FBI arrest a couple of the anarchists who set off an explosive at one of my campus events this semester!”
On April 18, Michael Knowles participated in a debate at the University of Pittsburgh with libertarian journalist Brad Polumbo, titled “Should transgenderism be regulated by law?” Polumbo was a last-minute substitute, as the original opponent, transgender-identifying University of Illinois-Chicago professor Deirdre McCloskey, canceled. The original event between Knowles and McCloskey was scheduled as a discussion of “Transgenderism and Womanhood,” more generally, however, the topic was changed to a discussion on policy after McCloskey dropped out.
The event faced considerable backlash as 11,000 individuals signed a petition for the event’s cancellation. Knowles was also shouted at multiple times during his remarks, with protesters chanting “trans rights are human rights.” As previously reported by The Daily Wire, hundreds of protesters were gathered outside of the event when it was reported that an “incendiary device” was set off.
“There they are,” an unfazed Knowles quipped. “That sounds like they’ve gotten into harmony. It’s not even melody anymore. I guess there was an opening act.”
Many protesters, smoke, and a cacophony of shouts and drums can be observed in video of the protests.