A Vietnam veteran is defending himself after being arrested for throwing coffee on Westboro Baptist Church protesters picketing the funeral of Vice President Joe Biden’s son Beau Biden.
Former Marine Richard Pierce, 64, of Wilmington, Del., said he doesn’t regret throwing the coffee, but doesn’t recommend anyone else try a similar stunt, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.
“What I did, I would not suggest anyone else do that. I acted very childish and foolish and if I had to do it over again I would do it again in a minute,” Pierce told the News. “I’m a combat Marine. You can’t tell a combat Marine anything.”
He said he heard of the controversial Kansas based church’s plan to protest and decided to go to the services himself to counter them.
“I did not approve of them coming to protest the funeral of Beau Biden. I am not a great Biden fan. I have not voted for either Biden, but he is an honorable individual and I’ve been reading all over the place what a great individual he is,” Pierce, who said he is a Republican, told the News. “I could not in my right mind let those people come in and distract from the grieving and what everyone else had to say.”
Though he said he didn’t intend to do anything audacious, his emotions got the better of him when a group of three women from the church walked past him, one with American flags taped to her knees dragging on the ground, according to the News.
“When I saw that I snapped, I guess, mentally,” Pierce said. “I went to Vietnam to give them the right to demonstrate. The First Amendment gives them to right to demonstrate. I understand that. Just because I don’t like what they’re doing, I know I should not have done what I did. I guess I had to demonstrate my displeasure.”
Although the main victim decided not to press charges, police arrested Pierce anyway.
In fact, the church said it was happy with the man’s actions.
“Thank God for the criminal coffee thrower! Because of his crimes, attention on the Gospel message of WBC was greatly magnified!” church Elder Sam Phelps-Roper told the News.
Some people are impossible to get through to.
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