An Arizona man says he was the victim of an unprovoked surprise attack recently based solely on the fact that he was publicly demonstrating on behalf of President Donald Trump.
According to Jonathan Sparks, he was wearing Trump campaign gear and holding a political sign in downtown Tucson ahead of last week’s midterm elections, when an individual approached from the rear and grabbed his red “Make America Great Again” cap.
He told KVOA that he felt a “very strong grasp” on his hat, which pulled him backward by his hair.
“The assailant jumped onto my ankle from behind,” Sparks said. “And so, not knowing my ankle was broken into four pieces, I turned around to grab and take the hat back.”
Throughout the ordeal, he said he heard the other man shout politically-charged accusations.
“Then I heard the words ‘Hitler,’ ‘Nazi’ and ‘Trump,’” Sparks said. “He was shouting things like that. He came over the top of me and over and over again he hit me.”
Both he and his attacker were fighting over the hat, he said, and they fell to the ground as passersby began to respond to the disturbance.
Several individuals helped detain the suspect, who was arrested shortly after police arrived on the scene.
Sparks said a silver lining from the painful attack was the renewed appreciation it gave him for his hometown.
“I was attacked with vengeance by an evil man,” he said. “But you know what I learned? You know what God taught me through the whole thing? How wonderful Tucson is.”
He expressed gratitude for a host of individuals who came to his aid during the attack.
“There were people who pulled him off, paramedics who stayed with me, there is a police officer that protected me,” he said.
From there, Sparks said he was transported to an area hospital where he underwent surgery on his ankle.
He said he believes the attacker’s “intolerance” toward Trump was the motivating factor.
“I was making a statement that I personally believe that Donald Trump is a fantastic president of the United States,” he said.
Sparks went on to suggest that his case was not receiving as much news coverage as it might if he were not a Trump supporter.
He told the local station that “a sea of reporters” would have shown up if he had been carrying a sign with a different political message or if he “was a black guy.”
Tucson police say the suspect was arrested on suspicion of assault.