Senior Nadia Tolosa pled not guilty at her Tuesday arraignment to charges brought against her after she struck a Public Safety (DPS) officer who grabbed her wrist at a pro-Palestine gathering in Hirst Lounge on Dec. 11.

Tolosa is charged with second degree harassment, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. At the hearing, her lawyer, Yousef Taha, argued the charges should be dismissed because the prosecution’s paperwork didn’t “make out enough facts towards the allegations.” He said the dismissal without prejudice would give the prosecution the chance to refile the charges “in a proper manner,” but he wouldn’t speak to any specific problems with the filings because the charges are still pending.

Judge Van White shut down the argument, telling Taha the arraignment wasn’t the proper stage in the process to ask for dismissal and that he would have to submit a written brief to give the prosecution a chance to respond.

After the hearing, Tolosa said she was disappointed that the charges weren’t dropped, but her heart was warmed by peoples’ support. About 20 people, most of them UR students, showed up bundled in winter wear to back her.

Advertised as a 30-minute non-protest meeting and as part of a “Global Strike for Gaza,” the pro-Palestine gathering where Tolosa was arrested was broken up by two WCSA staff members — John DiSarro, director of fraternity and sorority affairs, and Brian Magee, interim director of student activities & leadership education — along with at least 14 DPS officers, according to videos submitted to the Campus Times. RPD was also called in to assist, according to the University’s statement on the event.

The gathering drew around 25 attendees and featured no banners, microphones, or signs, but it wasn’t registered with the University in advance. On Nov. 17, the University issued a statement amid numerous pro-Palestine protests saying they would implement time, place, and manner restrictions on future events on an as-needed basis to “reduce the potential for disruption.” They have since required three-day notice.

Videos from the event — which are the subject of an ongoing CT visual investigation — show Stephanie Rodriguez, the DPS officer who was struck, giving Tolosa contradictory directives.

After Tolosa yelled at officers who were grabbing another unidentified student whose face was covered with a keffiyeh, Rodriguez approached her and directed her several times to “give me your ID.” Under UR policy, University ID cards establish an individual’s right to be on University property, and any “duly authorized official” may require someone to “present the card to establish identification.”

After Tolosa refused the directive to “give” Rodriguez her ID, Rodriguez said “you don’t have to give me it, show me it.” Tolosa then pulled her ID out of her pocket. Rodriguez grabbed the ID, still in Tolosa’s hand, and Tolosa pulled back. Rodriguez then grabbed Tolosa’s wrist, and the two jostled each other around. Tolosa began swinging her hands, striking Rodriguez in the head.

Tolosa was arrested and brought to the Public Safety Center on Wilson Boulevard for processing, where a group of students waiting outside cheered upon her release.

Eric Bonacchi, the president of the UR Public Safety Officers Association, issued a statement after the altercation.

“My officers need to be protected and these students and people need to be held accountable for their actions,” he said.

Tolosa’s next court appearance is set for Feb. 16 at 9:30 a.m.

Despite her disappointment that the charges weren’t dropped, Tolosa remains hopeful that they will be. She said she is “still pretty in shock” and hasn’t fully processed everything going on.

“I just want to move on with the semester,” she said.



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