A Harvard divinity school student who says he was just there to see the candidate was arrested two days ago at a Romney event in Hudson, New Hampshire for criminal trespass. Matt Bieber, 29, of Somerville, Mass. says that Romney staffers asked police to remove him from the premises of the Gilchrist Manufacturing Facility; the cops did so, taking him in to custody for four hours.
“All I knew was I was talking to a campaign staffer and a police officer came up to me and said leave the premises,” Bieber told BuzzFeed today. “It wasn’t even clear to me at that moment what I was obligated to do.”
Bieber, who wrote about the incident on his blog, said that the police told him that someone on the Romney staff had identified him as a protester from another Mitt event in Manchester. Bieber wasn’t at that protest.
“I thought, ‘there must be some kind of mistake here,’” Bieber said. “I asked if I could speak to one of the staffers and clear up the confusion. I thought maybe it had to do with my backpack.”
Bieber said he asked the officer what authority he had to arrest him, and he responded that he was “working for the Romney campaign.”
When Bieber didn’t immediately leave, two officers arrested him and took him into custody. He was booked and held for four hours at the police station, then released.
The police department wouldn’t comment on particulars of the incident. “It’s an active case in litigation,” said Captain William Avery. “Obviously an arrest was made and will be handled at the court level.”
“I have no knowledge as to why he was asked to leave,” Avery said. “That doesn’t even really come into the equation. It’s private property and if you’re asked to leave private property, you have to leave.”
Neither the two arresting officers nor the Romney campaign responded to requests for comment.