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Man Charged With Grabbing Anti-Gay Activist’s Sign

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Anti-gay signs (credit: David McNew/Getty Images, file)

Anti-gay signs (credit: David McNew/Getty Images, file)

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TRAVERSE CITY (AP) – A man has been charged with assault after police say he grabbed a sign held by an anti-gay activist near a Traverse City elementary school.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle says Matthew Todd Paulic of Grand Traverse County’s East Bay Township was charged with the misdemeanor after the Feb. 15 incident.

Police say Paulic took hold of the sign held by Bill Wiesner, who regularly demonstrates at locations around town. The sign reads “Truth Academy About Homosexuality” and references a video series.

Prosecutor Al Schneider says grabbing the sign constitutes assault, even if Wiesner wasn’t touched.

Defense attorney Clarence Gomery says Wiesner was deliberately antagonizing parents at Cherry Knoll Elementary School. Gomery says the confrontation was a “setup” and that an acquaintance of Wiesner’s photographed it.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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