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Eric Cruz-Lopez

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Eric Cruz-Lopez is a student at UConn who is also politically active on campus as one of the prime members of the club, "CT Student for a Dream", on campus. [1]

 

Background

Early Life
Image
Image of Eric shared around Social Media where he is quoted with a message about his desire to educating others.

He was born outside of the United States and brought into the country as a young child. He and his family eventually settled in the state of Connecticut. He grew up primarily in the city of Bridgeport[2]

 

He graduated from his High School as a valedictorian and is a recipient of the "Day of Pride" UConn Scholarship. [3]

 

Education 

He is currently a student at the University of Connecticut where he is studying to become an educator. He is a Mathemetics education major. Due to his DACA, he struggled at first to apply for the UConn School of education, and has since been accepted. [4]

 

On campus he has been the center of controversy over number of times he has vandalized property due to his insatiable thirst to protest Donald Trump and his presidency. [5]

 

At the same time, he has also been heralded as a student active in number of organizations and clubs dedicated to the idea of helping undocumented students get more educational access and opportunities on campus. [6]  He has been involved in the training of financial aid, educators, admission staff. They made sure information about undocumented students is available for everyone, and to include further notices around campus and on the university's website that concern undocumented students as well. [7]

 

Vandalism & Investigation

For months, Eric had it in him to graffiti certain areas around campus as he felt compelled to allow his personal expression to be represented for all to see. [8]  Some of

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Photo of the banner that Eric helped put together in order for it to be shown on the overpass of the freeway for cars to see.

the tagged locations had "Fuck Trump" or a cartoon face with the words in a bubble. In most cases the word, "PEST", all in caps was also written - some think that it may be the signature of Eric. The tagged places included the Student Union, the Dodd Center and other places around campus. [9]

 

Police said the total amount to repair the damage was over $4,200. [10]

 

In February, police talked to Cruz, who told them he wrote the graffiti, and he was not willing to draw it on paper. Cruz-Lopez also said that the instances with “F*** Trump” were politically motivated and PEST was a signature of sorts. Cruz-Lopez also told police he was “open to entering a conversation about restitution.” [11]

 

The police described multiple cases in which Cruz-Lopez was seen entering and leaving an area on security cameras around the time when the acts of vandalism occurred. [12]

 

Arrest

On May 7th, 2017, after three months of investigation, Eric was arrested and taken into

Image
Eric's mugshot of when he was arrested.

custody as the main suspect in connection to more than 103 counts of vandalism. The acts of Vandalism were politically driven and meant to challenge the Donald Trump doctrine of bigotry against people of color and undocumented students who have been ridiculed throughout campus since his presidential nomination. [13]

 

He was charged with multiple counts of criminal mischief for incidents of vandalism in the Homer Babbage Library and other places around campus from December 2016 to March 2017. He is due in Rockville Superior Court on June 14. [12]

 

 

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Created: May 20, 2017, 1:14 a.m.
Last Modified: May 20, 2017, 2:47 a.m.