Students yelled, made jokes aloud and one individual was compelled to resort to physical violence in reaction to a preacher’s sermon in front of the Albert son’s Library Wednesday, Oct. 31, at roughly 1:30 p.m.
Ken Fleck, a traveling college campus preacher was in the midst of his sermon, when students began to react to his comments negatively.
At one point, a man approached Fleck with an air horn.
According to Ben Broderick, a Boise State student, the man had been involved in a vocal exchange with Fleck where the man had used an air horn in an attempt to silence the preacher.
“The preacher was interrupting the guy, the guy with the air horn was then saying like ‘Hey, you’re interrupting me’ by using the air horn,” Broderick said.
Fleck then proceeded to make comments regarding American involvement in Iraq and the death toll of the Iraqi people.
“3,000 Americans have been killed, that’s too bad, but it’s even more sad 1,000,000 Iraqis have been killed,” Fleck said.
Fleck then went on to further criticize the U.S. government.
“The American flag needs to be turned upside down, out of desperation sir,” Fleck said, addressing a student.
Directly following Fleck’s statements, a verbal confrontation with multiple students regarding his comments began to escalate.
A second, different individual then approached Fleck and began yelling loudly, coming face to face with the preacher.
“You are a shameful disgrace of anyone that would call themselves a Christian,” the man said to Fleck. “You are a f–king disgrace, you shame the way every f–king Christian looks like.”
After a brief verbal exchange between Fleck and the man, the individual grabbed Fleck by the back of the neck and forced him face down into the nearby grass.
Fleck then yelled loudly for security.
Most students looked on while security and a handful of students pulled the attacker off Fleck. The two men were separated and police quickly arrived on the scene.
Fleck and the attacker were questioned separately and the attacker was informed he may be arrested if Fleck wished to press charges.
Fleck informed Boise Police he did not intend to press charges against his attacker. The state of Idaho has the option of levying charges against the attacker for the violent incident, however, at this time no arrests have been made.
“Normally, the state or city wants a willing victim, somebody that is willing to press charges,” said Boise Police Departments Lieutenant Tony Plott.
Plott also said it is against Boise State code to allow noises, like the air horn directed at Fleck, to disrupt student activity on campus.
Fleck responded to questions regarding the act of violence against him.
“I’m sorry it happened. I forgive the man that did that to me,” Fleck said. “But I mean, Jesus said that you will be hated by all for his namesake, he said you will be persecuted for his namesake, so I just rejoice.”
When asked if his actions where appropriate, the attacker said his personal views do not fall in line with legal code.
“As a member of society and bound by the law, I have to say no,” said the individual who accosted the preacher. “As a person who feels his ideals were misrepresented by a maniac, I’d say yes.”
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