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BY JENNIFER CABRERA
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Thomas B. Wells, 72, who is running against Danielle Hawk for the Democratic nomination for Congressional District 3, was found guilty yesterday of resisting arrest in a jury trial.
Wells was arrested on January 30, 2022, after he was asked to leave an event at the University of Florida. Event organizers said Wells was handing out printed material but had not gone through “the proper process dictated by the University of Florida in order for him to pass out flyers.” The organizer asked him to leave “due to him making students uncomfortable, and she did not want to make the event politically based.”
Two officers approached Wells and told him the event organizer wanted him to leave, but Wells refused to leave and actively resisted their attempts to physically remove him. He was charged with resisting arrest without violence.
Wells sent us a statement following the arrest, in which he said the event was advertised on Facebook, “ergo it was a public event.” In his statement, he disputed the authority of both the event organizers and the officers to compel him to leave.
Wells chose a jury trial, the jury found him guilty, and he was ordered to pay $276 in court costs. Ray Washington, Wells’ attorney, said, “Tom Wells is one of an increasingly rare breed of Democratic Congressional candidate who understands and takes seriously the First Amendment to United States Constitution. Despite Wednesday morning’s disappointing verdict, Tom may emerge from this ordeal as a stronger candidate because of it.”