Meyer tells 'Today' he didn't plan to cause a scene


n this image released by NBC, Andrew Meyer, left, is interviewed by Matt Lauer on the "Today" program, Thursday in New York. Meyer, the University of Florida student stunned by a police Taser and arrested after his fervent, videotaped outburst at an event with Sen. John Kerry on Sept. 17 said Thursday that he was only trying to raise "important issues that the media doesn't talk about."

The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 9:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 1, 2007 at 12:49 p.m.

The University of Florida student who campus police Tasered at a town hall forum in September gave his first live interview Thursday morning and denied he planned anything at the event other than asking tough questions.

"I went there with serious political questions that you saw me asking. My only agenda was to raise the important issues that the media doesn't talk about, the disenfranchisement of voters, and when I talk about disenfranchisement, I'm talking about American voters not being allowed to vote and not having their votes count,” college student Andrew Meyer told “Today” show host Matt Lauer.

Officers Tasered Meyer during a forum with U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, at University Auditorium on Sept. 17. Meyer used vulgar language in questioning Kerry and was Tasered when he refused to be escorted from the auditorium.

Meyer said he never went to the forum with the intention of getting unruly.

“I just wasn't able to maintain my composure,” Meyer said. “I went there to try and ask these questions calmly, but even asking these questions in today's environment, it causes a scene. I didn't intend to create one.”

Meyer's parents and his Gainesville attorney, Robert Griscti, also were present at the interview, which lasted about five minutes.

Joel Meyer told Lauer he was proud of his son for “standing up for his rights.”

“He was asking a question at a forum, a college forum, a college setting where people are supposed to ask questions. This was a town forum where people came to ask questions of Sen. Kerry and he asked the questions maybe that no one else had.”

Meyer said he intended to sincerely apologize to the university and police in letters, which have since been sent out, not to try to escape from pending criminal charges filed after the forum. “There were rules in place,” Meyer said. “I did not follow the rules and that's my fault.”

Earlier this week, the State Attorney's Office in Gainesville announced Meyer had entered an agreement that will require he remain on 18 months' probation and complete either community service or donate money to a charity. If he remains out of trouble during that time, misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest without violence and disrupting a school function will be dismissed.

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