NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City artist and college professor who held a machete to a journalist’s neck and threatened to chop him up was arrested Thursday on charges of menacing and harassment, police said.
The confrontation with a New York Post reporter at professor Shellyne Rodriguez’s apartment building on Tuesday came after the newspaper published a story about an earlier episode in which Rodriguez had cursed at anti-abortion activists at Hunter College, where Rodriguez was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History.
A widely circulated video of the May 2 Hunter College incident shows Rodriguez cursing at the anti-abortion activists and accusing them of “triggering” her students. In the video, Rodriguez asks, “What are you going to do, like anti-trans next?” and sweeps some of the anti-abortion pamphlets off the literature table.
Video of Tuesday’s encounter shows Rodriguez holding what appears to be a machete to the reporter’s neck and telling him to “get the —— away from my door.”
The Post said Rodriguez had earlier shouted from behind her closed door that she would “chop you up with this machete!”
The newspaper said its reporter and photographer left, but Rodriguez followed them and kicked the reporter in the shins.
Hunter, a public college and part of the City University of New York in Manhattan, subsequently fired Rodriguez.
“Hunter College strongly condemns the unacceptable actions of Shellyne Rodriguez, and has taken immediate action,” spokesperson Vince DiMiceli said. “Rodriguez has been relieved of her duties at Hunter College effective immediately, and will not be returning to teach at the school.”
Rodriguez was arrested Thursday morning after turning herself in to a Bronx police station. Information on an attorney who could speak for her was not available.
Rodriguez has not responded to phone calls or text messages from The Associated Press, but she told the publication ARTNews that Hunter had “capitulated” to “racists, white nationalists, and misogynists” by firing her.
Rodriguez identifies herself on her website as an artist, educator, writer, and community organizer who uses text, drawing, painting, collage and sculpture.