A student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) was charged Friday after spraying a substance toward a conservative speaker during an anti-transgender speech.

Michael Knowles was giving a speech titled “Men are Not Women” on the campus Thursday when student Gerard Dabu used a water gun to spray what was later determined to be lavender oil and other non-toxic household liquids at Knowles. Police were seen tackling Dabu and subduing him with a stun gun.

Dabu was charged a Kansas City municipal court with assault and other violations, according to the Associated Press.


“The assailant as well as the students who screamed throughout the lecture should be expelled from the university, and the assaillant should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Enough is enough,” Knowles tweeted Friday.

UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal put out a statement Thursday saying that while he disagreed with Knowles’ message, Dabu’s actions “crossed a line.”

“A student group brought a speaker to campus – a speaker whose professed opinions do not align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion and our goal of providing a welcoming environment for all people, particularly our LGBT community. Upon learning of this speaker’s visit, members of our UMKC community responded in the best way – by organizing and conducting a counter-event across campus Thursday afternoon focused on positive messages about diversity and inclusion,” he said. 

“Then, unfortunately, some others crossed a line. UMKC must maintain a safe environment in which all points of view, even extreme ones, are allowed to be heard.”