VERO BEACH, FL- The anti-Trump sentiments over in Florida have caused those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome to feel emboldened when they assault people adorning pro-Trump attire.
While not every case gets prosecuted (more on that below), a recent assault has landed a man in jail for 90 days.
A Vero Beach man found himself landing prison time inside the Indian River County Jail along with one year of supervised probation after spitting on a man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.
These types of assaults have been an issue nationwide over the past few years, but this marks one of the rare instances where jail was handed down as a result.
Judge David Morgan accepted a no-contest plea last week for the October 26th assault committed by 43-year-old Matthias Ajple and determined him guilty of battery on 67-year-old Robert Youngblood.
This case pertains to the viral surveillance footage from the Hurricane Grill & Wings in Vero Beach that made the rounds online in November of last year.
The footage showed Ajple place what appeared to be a used paper towel, presumably from the restroom, on top of the bill of the hat Youngblood was wearing while he left the establishment.
Moments later, when Youngblood was examining what was placed on his hat, Ajple can be seen leaning over a railing outside the eatery to spit on Youngblood.
According to an Indian River County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit, the victim of the assault told deputies that he was sitting with two friends in the restaurant when Ajple walked over and said “You should go back to Russia you communist.”
The assailant then got in his car and drove off after slapping the hat and spitting on Youngblood. Luckily, Youngblood had the good idea to jot down Ajple’s license plate before he took off and deputies were able to locate him at his home address.
When authorities arrived at the residence, Ajple’s wife told the deputies that she told her husband to go up to Youngblood and tell him to “go back to Russia,” and that she didn’t see anything physical play out.
According to the affidavit, the arresting deputy spoke to Ajple and he stated:
“I was just trying to protect you guys because I support law enforcement. Trump supporters are communist and racist. I don’t even care that I’m going to jail; this is actually exciting. Plus, I have more time on this earth than he does anyway; he probably feels so good about himself.”
On top of the jail and supervision, Ajpe was also ordered to pay $155 to Youngblood, according to the sentencing information. Within 72 hours of his release from jail he’s to report to the supervised probation department.
This wasn’t the only issue coming from Florida that pertained to a hat in support of Trump, as a middle school student in Martin County Florida had his hat forcibly removed by a bus aide when boarding the bus. What’s more infuriating about this case, is that no charges are being filed against the school employee.
Prosecutors released a statement regarding the March 5th, 2019 incident where 14-year-old Gunnar Johansson had his pro-Trump hat snatched off by a bus aide, saying they weren’t filing charges. Assistant State Attorney Nita Denton attempted to justify the move by stating:
“The reports and video were reviewed. While the bus aide’s behavior is inappropriate and unprofessional, it doesn’t raise to the criminal level.”
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office received a call two days after the incident by the boy’s mother, Jacquelyn Putt. Putt stated her son boarded the bus and bus aide Delores Matheny grabbed the boy’s hat, which was emblazoned with the word “Trump” in large capital letters, off his head.
According to deputies, Gunnar attends Hidden Oaks Middle School which allows students to wear hats so long as they make a donation to the March of Dimes.
Matheny tried defending her actions, saying that she asked him to remove his hat several time and he refused. While trying to make it seem completely innocent, the aide told deputies that she “gently” removed his hat and didn’t know that students could wear them.
While Matheny never had official charges brought against her, the school did suspend her for four days and required her to participate in a program that instills appropriate employee and student interactions.
Back in September, police in California arrested a man in connection with an assault on another man donning a MAGA hat as well. It happened in the bathroom of a restaurant.
According to the Hermosa Beach Police department, 32-year-old David Delgado was arrested at his home in Winnetka, California.
He’s accused of robbery and battery with serious injury after an attack that took place around 6:40 p.m. on Sept. 2.
It happened inside a restaurant in downtown Hermosa Beach.
According to police, the victim was wearing a red hat with white Russian writing on it, which translated “Make America Great Again”.
Apparently Delgado walked up to the victim as he was using the restroom.
“The suspect approached the victim in the restroom and questioned him about the meaning of the hat, after which the suspect repeatedly punched the victim in the face causing the victim to fall to the ground,” police said.
Police went on to say that Delgado continuing punching the victim after he fell to the ground, eventually stealing the hat and running.
It took a month, but police said thanks to “investigative resources and surveillance footage”, they were able to identify Delgado and arrest him at his home.
He’s now being held on $100,000 bail.
In August, another American sporting his Make America Great Again Hat was attacked for donning the symbolic red icon.
According to KPTV’s Zach Anders, Luke Lenzner and his wife were out in Portland when they headed into Growler’s Taproom for a late night date.
However, the couple had just missed last call and the establishment was closing. As Lenzner and his wife went to leave, they encountered 22-year old Leopold A. Hauser and 23-year old Abedisi A. Okuneye.
Lenzner reports to KPTV that the patrons were:
“Surrounding me, like literally surrounding me, pushing me. I’m just trying to get through, trying to stop the person from hitting me, from taking my hat, and then I get sucker punched.”
When police arrived at the scene, they found Lenzner with lacerations to his face. Both Okuneye and Hauser had left the scene by the time police responded.
However, Lenzner recalled their license plate of the van that the pair had fled in and they were eventually located nearby. They were charged with third degree assault and taken to the Multnomah County Detention Center, Anders reports.
“I got mobbed by everybody that was in that bar outside. People came from the inside out – just circled me and my wife.”
Several witnesses, including the bartender, felt that Lenzner initiated the conflict by pointing to his hat and making comments, however video footage shows that Lenzner did not make any physical contact with any other patrons.
According to the Oregonian’s Jayati Ramakrishnan, Lenzner’s wife had asked him to wear the hat in order to see how people in the Portland area would respond to it. The couple had solicited several establishments that night with the hat without significant incident.
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The assault came only weeks after a New York man had the bones in his face fractured for donning the red cap. Jahangir “John” Turan is a fan of President Trump’s and had made a special trip to visit Trump Tower where he purchased his hat.
He proudly wore it throughout the day but as he was walking down a New York City street, was approached by an upset crowd. He recalls:
“They were saying ‘Why are you wearing that?’ One girl flipped the hat off my head, and I tried to grab it. Then they came after me. One guy grabbed me from behind and slammed my head against a metal post.”
Police were not able to identify his attackers.
Atsu Mable, originally from West Africa, had a similar experience in his Maryland neighborhood this past spring.
Mable was attempting to make his way home when he was approached by two men. He says:
“All of a sudden, I got a punch on my head. Boom! They took my headphones and smashed it to the ground and tried to take my phone… I was falling back onto the ground… They were punching me on my head. Suddenly I thank God for that bystander that came by and called the police.”
Police located Jovan Crawford and Scott Roberson who attempted to evade authorities by hiding among children in a park. The two were charged with robbery, attempted theft, destruction of property and assault.
Mable, however, only became more adamant in his support of the President despite the attack saying:
“They felt like a black man should not be wearing a Trump hat because it’s like when you are black, you have to be a Democrat… I’ll wear it again. The movement is still going on, Trump is still in power and in 2020 we will win again.”
Earlier this year, we brought you the story of an off-duty officer who was attacked for wearing his MAGA hat. This was his response.
I had just finished working my third double of the week. Most people would be complaining. But I’m going to be straight up with you, I was considering myself blessed.
Just three years ago, they didn’t think I’d ever be able to work as a police officer again. I took a bullet just below my vest. Doctors told me I might not walk again and I’d DEFINITELY never be a cop again.
I didn’t accept that. Policing was everything I’ve ever known. It’s how I provide for my family. There wasn’t a choice – I would overcome it.
And I did. So to be able to be back on the road earning that overtime for my family was a blessing.
We have four kids under the age of 14. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. And we don’t do handouts. We eat what we kill, and for my wife and I, that means you hunt down any work you can get.
I changed into my street clothes and stopped at Target on the way home. The wifey wanted me to pick up some cleaning supplies for the house.
Listen, we’re not particularly well off, if you didn’t already pick up on that. But we’re proud of what we have. This particular day, I was wearing a pair of gym shorts (what I love about the south while the rest of you are stuck in winter in March still) a Fallen Officers Thin Blue Line t-shirt, along with my MAGA hat.
I went into the store and was just wrapping up when it happened.
“Hey, buddy – how about you and your fascist hat get the f*#k out of here.”
Oh. Here we go. I turned around, half expecting to see a 20-something year old hipster with skinny jeans and a man bun.
(Above: Fusion’s Tim Pool shot video of the violent attack on Trump supporter.)
I didn’t. I saw a well-dressed, middle age couple with what looked like a 5-year-old girl with them.
I must have heard wrong. Surely I didn’t just hear a woman talk like that in front of a little girl.
“I’m sorry, what was that?” I asked.
- Read: AntiFa Terrorists Armed With Explosives And Projectiles Arrested In Portland Oregon Attempting To Attack Trump Rally
“Oh, so you’re deaf AND stupid I see,” responded the woman.
I was speechless. Literally speechless. I could feel my cheeks start to change color. My vision narrowed. I could see red and could feel myself entering into the tunnel.
Words… where were they? Where were my words?
“What the f&$% are you staring at?” the man asked me. “You going to gawk at my wife now? Get the f&$% out of here before you have a problem.”
(Above: Trump supporters were sucker punched and pelted with eggs.)
I’m not going to lie to those of you reading this. I have post-traumatic stress from the shooting. 95% of the time, I’m totally fine. But you put me in a fight or flight situation, and I prepare to fight. Everything else fades away. I become extremely singular since that shooting. I retain every detail… but only the detail of the threat in front of me. And when that man took two steps towards me, he was the threat.
But the little girl. God, that little girl. She looked sweet. And scared. And confused.
Frozen. I was still frozen.
Until dad reached up and tried to take my hat.
“We don’t need people like…” he began.
He didn’t finish the sentence. Once he reached for my head, my training kicked in. Before he realized what happened, he was up against the shelf. His arm was behind his back. I wasn’t applying pressure – simply holding him in place.
He, however, was letting how this high pitched shriek. Sort of like a dying cat.
(Above: A Trump supporter was surrounded in a skirmish with protesters in El Cajon, one of whom appeared to steal his “Make America Great Again” hat.)
When you’re in that tunnel, it’s funny the things you remember.
I remember the smell of his cologne. It smelled like something from a 80’s high school dance.
I remember the sounds of someone laughing a few aisles over. It sounded like a drunk giggle.
And I remember feeling the irony of wearing a MAGA hat while pushing this guy’s face against the shelf filled with bleach.
That’s when his wife started screaming at the top of her lungs. “He’s assaulting my husband! Help! Help! My child is in danger! Please, someone help!”
(Above: Rally-goer describes the violence, speaks out against the San Jose mayor on ‘The Kelly File’)
Flash forward 30 minutes. The four of us are sitting in what appears to be an employee break room with the manager and two guys from the Sheriff’s office.
The woman was insisting that I attacked her husband out of the blue.
But as they say in sports – “let’s go to the tapes!”
“Well, ma’am, it appears that your story and what we see on this camera don’t line up,” she was told. “And if we’re going to charge ANYONE, it should be your husband.”
The couple looked completely indignant. Bewildered. After all, they had the RIGHT to not be exposed to the hatred, violence and bigotry of someone wearing a MAGA hat, they said.
(Above: After President Trump spoke, supporters were greeted by a mob of protestors outside the venue. One young woman tried to take on the protestors on her own and proudly showed off her Trump shirt. She was hit in the face with a watermelon and eggs. A local news reporter said the Trump supporters were “chased down like prey.” Protestors were filmed burning American flags and throwing eggs, punches and bottles at supporters.)
“Do you want to press charges?” they asked me.
Here’s what I want.
I want to be able to go into a store and buy laundry detergent and not worry about being attacked for who I voted for.
I want a country where we’re not so divided that a hat triggers people into a meltdown.
I want a society where parents teach their children love and respect, not that love and respect are attacking people you don’t believe in then screaming violence.
I want attacks on police officers to stop. Now let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting they knew I was a cop. But this culture of violence where the media glorifies shooting us only empowers a generation to believe that violence against those who you disagree with politically is acceptable.
(Above: An 81-year-old man was attacked in a New Jersey supermarket after someone confronted him about the “Make America Great Again” hat he was wearing, prosecutors say.)
I want people to be able to see past race, color, sex, black vs. blue, sexual orientation and MAGA hats. I want people to be able to find common ground and find love and not embrace hate.
I want to put on the TV and see something other than the media declaring that it’s Trump supporters who are hateful, because in my experience, it’s just the opposite.
I want my damn country back. I want it to stop being overrun by people who don’t belong here legally, and people who believe in welcoming them with open arms while attacking people who believe we need to secure our borders.
I want us to stop indoctrinating kids in hatred. I’ve seen it in my own kids’ schools – Trump is bad, Christians are bad, Conservatives are bad, but socialism is great.
I want people like these parents to face the very real threat of losing their children because they are teaching them the ways of hatred and violence over love.
And most of all, I want people to know that this is my damn hat, my damn country and if you mess with either, you’ll find yourself pinned against a wall making sounds like a dying cat.
“No, I don’t want to press charges. But an apology would be nice.”
It was such a simple request
“Well you can go f#$& yourself,” said the wife.
Well, aggravated assault and making a false statement to police sure is a bitch to fight in court… especially when it was caught on camera.
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