A Florida Republican canvasser clad in a Marco Rubio T-shirt and a Ron DeSantis hat was brutally attacked in a Hialeah, Fla., neighborhood by Democratic residents, Senator Marco Rubio tweeted Monday morning.
“Last night one of our canvassers wearing my T-shirt and a DeSantis hat was brutally attacked by 4 animals who told him Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood in #Hialeah #Florida,” Rubio wrote. “He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw, & will need facial reconstructive surgery.”
He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw & will need facial reconstructive surgery pic.twitter.com/36QpbySg58
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 24, 2022
In photos of the young man provided by the senator, he was seen with blood running down his face and a swollen jawline in an ambulance. His eyes also appeared to be swollen shut.
Republican canvasser attacked in Florida while wearing a Rubio shirt and DeSantis hat, told ‘Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood’https://t.co/13kh5EJ8Mb
— Marie Oakes (@TheMarieOakes) October 24, 2022
A police report identified Javier Lopez, 22, as an alleged assailant in the attack. The report made no mention of the three other alleged attackers Rubio alluded to in his tweet. But it did describe another individual who appeared to have kicked Lopez during the confrontation before fleeing the scene prior to the police’s arrival.
“Another subject who fled the scene prior to police arrival kicked the defendant on the right side of his face,” the report explained.
More details of this report from the Miami Herald:
Police have arrested a man accused in a vicious attack Sunday night in Hialeah, an incident first publicized by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who shared pictures online of a bloodied man in a Rubio t-shirt and alleged that the assault was politically motivated.
The man arrested in the incident, 25-year-old Javier Jesus Lopez, is accused of aggravated battery and causing great bodily harm, a second degree felony. An arrest report, however, does not reference politics or suggest that the victim was attacked because of his political beliefs.
According to Lopez’s arrest affidavit, the victim was walking near 140 East 60th St. around 6:50 p.m. Sunday in a neighborhood just south of Amelia Earhart Park when Lopez — a Hialeah resident — stood in front of him to block access to the sidewalk. The canvasser crossed the street to avoid him, but police say Lopez responded, “You can’t pass by here, this is my neighborhood.”
An argument ensued and Lopez grabbed the victim and slammed him against the floor, the victim told police. A second man, who is not in custody, apparently kicked the victim’s face, as Lopez punched him repeatedly.