College President, Students Promote GoFundMe for Sorority Girl Facing Charges of Arson, Rioting in Lancaster

Kat Patterson
Facebook/Kat Patterson

The president of Lancaster’s Franklin & Marshall College, Barbara Altmann, promoted a GoFundMe to raise money for a student and sorority girl who was one of 13 arrested as a result of the riots in Lancaster Sunday night into Monday morning.

Authorities arrested thirteen individuals, including one juvenile, as a result of the riots in Lancaster that occurred Sunday night into early Monday morning — riots that were spurred by the fatal police-involved shooting of 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz, who wielded a knife as he chased an officer. Kathryn Patterson, 20, was among the arrestees. She faces charges of arson, institutional vandalism, riot, failure to disperse, obstructing highways and other public passages, disorderly conduct, and defiant trespass, according to the Lancaster Bureau of Police. She is being held on $1,000,000 bail.

“Our community is hurting. We are all processing and trying to contextualize the death of Ricardo Muñoz in Lancaster city this past weekend,” Altmann said in a post on Tuesday. “Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this investigation, we all mourn the loss of the life of Mr. Muñoz.

She continued, explicitly thanking students for creating a GoFundMe for Patterson, adding that “many of us in our community will be contributing”:

On a community-level, we are also processing the impact that the past few nights of activism have had on a member of our own family. As you are likely aware, F&M student Kat Patterson was arrested Sunday night at the protests. We have read the allegations against her, as reported in the LNP. We stand by our students’ constitutional right to protest. And affirm a presumption of innocence. Senior staff has been in close contact with the family and will continue to do so as we focus on her well-being. Thank you, students, for creating a GoFundMe page to assist Kat and her family; many of us in our community will be contributing.

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Dear Students: Our community is hurting. We are all processing and trying to contextualize the death of Ricardo Muñoz in Lancaster city this past weekend. Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this investigation, we all mourn the loss of the life of Mr. Muñoz. For many, this is a reminder of the deeply challenged relationship between BIPOC and law enforcement. We are shaken as a campus and city. We find ourselves asking questions and trying to understand the moment. These are questions we all should grapple with. On a community-level, we are also processing the impact that the past few nights of activism have had on a member of our own family. As you are likely aware, F&M student Kat Patterson was arrested Sunday night at the protests. We have read the allegations against her, as reported in the LNP. We stand by our students’ constitutional right to protest. And affirm a presumption of innocence. Senior staff has been in close contact with the family and will continue to do so as we focus on her well-being. Thank you, students, for creating a GoFundMe page to assist Kat and her family; many of us in our community will be contributing. F&M’s senior staff will continue to work with students, faculty and professional staff, on campus and studying remotely, to support and encourage programs, courses and workshops on these social justice issues. We recognize that many are feeling unsafe, including within our own community. This must change. We encourage everyone to be part of this effort and support one another. We have all been heartened by the persistent and dedicated activism demonstrated by our community, especially by you – our students. Thank you for that. Together, we know we will persevere to a better tomorrow. With hope for our future, Barbara K. Altmann, President, on behalf of senior staff

A post shared by Barbara K. Altmann (@bkaltmann) on

Franklin & Marshall College’s Black Student Union reportedly started the GoFundMe for Patterson, identifying her as “an ally,” as well as a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. Last week, the sorority featured Patterson on its Instagram page, in which she explained that she joined the sorority because she wanted to surround herself “with strong, passionate, like-minded women.”

“Not only have I met some of the most supportive and intelligent people in my life, but I have also had the opportunity to grow exponentially as a person because of what KD has pushed me to accomplish,” she added:

Organizers of the GoFundMe say that Patterson has been “wrongfully accused of crimes she could not possibly commit,” claiming that she was simply “providing medical attention to injured demonstrators.”

“We as members of the Black Student Union and Kappa Delta Sorority, have created this fund to raise money to support Kat and her family,” the fundraiser reads.

The fundraiser had garnered over $49,800 as of Wednesday afternoon:

In a Wednesday update, organizers encouraged donors to consider assisting two other arrestees — Taylor Enterline and Alexa Wise.

“Taylor and Kat are activists and friends who were arrested together. Alexa Wise, a Black Trans Activist was also arrested and is currently being housed in a male section of the prison,” the update stated. “We want to bring awareness to Taylor and Alexa and urge you all to support them and their families.”

Enterline faces charges of arson, institutional vandalism, riot, failure to disperse, obstructing highways and other public passages, disorderly conduct, and defiant trespass. As with Patterson’s charges, authorities added that “additional counts of Criminal Conspiracy for all charges is included on the complaint.” She is also being held on $1,000,000 bail.

Similarly, Wise, whom organizers of Patterson’s GoFundMe identify as a transgender woman, faces charges of arson, institutional vandalism, riot, failure to disperse, obstructing highways and other public passages, disorderly conduct, and defiant trespass as well. He was awaiting arraignment as of Tuesday:

During the violent protests, rioters vandalized county vehicles — as well as the police station — set fires, and attacked officers with glass bottles, rocks, and bricks, among other projectiles.

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