Former student enters plea in 2004 Coulter pie assault

By Holly Wells
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, January 12, 2006

One of two men accused of throwing cream pies at political columnist Ann Coulter during an event at Centennial Hall in 2004 pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor assault.

Williams Zachary Wolff, 25, was fined $250, but the fine will be suspended as part of the plea agreement if he pays $915 in restitution to the UA for damage caused to a backdrop screen during the incident, said Deputy Pima County Attorney Noah Van Amburg.

Wolff and Phillip Edgar Smith, a UA student at the time of the incident, were originally charged with assault, disorderly conduct and criminal damage after they threw tofu cream pies at Coulter as she spoke to about 2,400 people at Centennial Hall on Oct. 22, 2004. As part of the plea agreement, the disorderly conduct and criminal damage charges were dropped.

Portions of a pie struck Coulter on her face and dress, but the pies mainly hit a black muslin backdrop, causing $1,830 in damage.

After throwing the pies, Smith and Wolff were detained by audience members and arrested by the University of Arizona Police Department.

Shortly after the incident, Wolff claimed he and Smith belonged to Al Pieda, which he described as a loose network of political activists. He said they were throwing the pies at Coulter's ideas and not at her.

Smith accepted the same plea agreement in November and will also pay $915 to cover the damage to the backdrop screen, Van Amburg said.

Original charges against Wolff and Smith were dismissed March 18, 2005, after neither the arresting officer nor Coulter appeared to testify against them. UAPD and Coulter said they had not been properly notified by the Pima County Attorney's Office about the trial. The case was re-filed in April 2005.