Around 3:15 p.m. on Monday on The Oval, a preacher, Micah Armstrong, and an unidentified man had a slight physical altercation, which led to police involvement in the situation.
Armstrong had been preaching in front of a crowd of students, where he was pacing in circles, trying to make space for himself. Armstrong is associated with the preachers that drew outsized attention from students on Monday for their opinions condemning homosexuality and Islam.
“(It was) nothing really all that unusual,” Armstrong said. “The crowd was already pretty rowdy, at least verbally and emotionally, not physically.”
Armstrong said the behavior of the crowd was acceptable, but was being forced to move around, avoiding students and bystanders from invading his personal space. Armstrong then made an attempt to alert the police nearby on what was happening.
“(The officers) just ignored me,” Armstrong said.
The unidentified man then walked up to Armstrong and confronted him.
“The one guy over here kept following me around once he saw (officers) weren’t going to do anything,” Armstrong said. “I walked away to the other side and he’s making all these threats and stuff like that and I just said ‘Hey, I could out-bench you.’”
Soon after the comment was made to the man, an eyewitness affiliated with the preachers, Mikhail Savenko, who was recording the dispute on video, saw the man grab Armstrong by the arm.
“That preacher kept walking away and that guy kept getting in his face all the time and that guy finally grabbed the preacher,” Mikhail said. “I don’t know why.”
Armstrong said the man was not using much physical force as his arm was grabbed, but this prompted Armstrong to confront the police officers on the current situation.
“I don’t believe he was trying to hurt me,” Armstrong said. “He acted like it didn’t care so I hated to do it, but I had to take it to the officer.”
The man and Armstrong both approached the two officers on scene.
The OSUPD officers had no further information after both were released from questioning.
The man had no comment on the situation, and declined to give The Lantern his name.