Florida – Jacksonville authorities have made an arrest after a suspect allegedly drove his van into a voter registration tent last weekend, nearly running down multiple volunteers.
The reason behind the attack? Hate for Trump, apparently.
Police in Jacksonville say 27-year-old Gregory William Loel Timm pointed his van at the GOP tent that was setup in a Walmart parking lot, sped straight into it, made obscene gestures at the people working the booth, then sped off.
He was apprehended just a short time after.
#JSO has arrested the suspect who drove through the voter registration tent in the area of 11900 Atlantic Boulevard.
Gregory Timm has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Criminal Mischief, and Driving While Driver’s License Suspended. pic.twitter.com/zGKbR2VTg0
— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) February 9, 2020
When deputies from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office made contact with Timm, he didn’t just admit to the vehicular assault, but actually whipped out his phone and willingly showed video footage of the event to the officers.
According to police statements, Timm was “upset that the video ended before ‘the good part,’” where he allegedly plowed into the tent with his van.
He then told officers that he didn’t like President Trump, which motivated the attack.
He now faces “two counts of aggravated assault on a person over 65 years old, criminal mischief and driving without a license,” according to authorities.
Volunteers were reportedly working the booth in an attempt to get more citizens registered to vote ahead of the upcoming presidential election.
LIVE at 11 on @ActionNewsJax- Van plows through voter registration tent, narrowly missing volunteers. It’s a story garnering national attention. What the President is saying, coming up! @BenBeckerANjax
— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) February 9, 2020
And because we now live in a world where attacking people you don’t agree with is apparently okay, this guy figured that using his car to take out the tent and perhaps a few republicans in the meantime would be a good use of his time.
Florida authorities say that after striking the booth and nearly injuring the six people working there, the driver hopped out of his vehicle, began recording video of the destroyed tent and threw up his middle finger to the volunteers before speeding away.
One of the volunteers described the frightening incident, saying the man was smiling and waving moments before crashing his van through the tent.
“Kind of out of the blue, a man approached us in a van, was waving at us, kind of a friendly demeanor, thought he was coming up to talk to us. Instead he accelerated his vehicle and plowed right into our tent, our tables,” he said.
Today in Jacksonville, Florida six Trump Campaign volunteers were intentionally targeted while registering voters. pic.twitter.com/0wzaCYh5ut
— Duval County GOP (@DuvalGOP) February 8, 2020
“After he ran over everything, he backed up, took out a cell phone, kind of recorded the damage, made some obscene gestures at us and then proceeded to leave the complex.”
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is outraged at the series of events.
“The hate is toxic and dangerous,” he posted on Twitter. “Thankfully no one was injured but certainly they are shaken after being targeted because they were registering voters.”
Other Florida-area politicians immediately condemned the actions.
“Thanking God that no one was injured in today’s politically motivated attack against @DuvalGOP volunteers today,” Marco Rubio wrote.
Rick Scott took to Twitter to voice his concern as well.
“This appears to be a politically-motivated attack on hard-working volunteers in Duval County,” Scott wrote. “Thankful that no one was hurt. @DuvalGOP will not be silenced or intimidated.”
“We are investigating this as an aggravated assault,” Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Lt. Larry Gayle said. “Several people were in the area and could have been seriously hurt.”
According to authorities, the driver may also find himself charged with interrupting the political process.
The voting registration workers were “shaken up” by the narrow miss, according to Duval County GOP Chairman Dean Black.
“We are outraged by this senseless act of violence toward our great volunteers,” Black told First Coast News. “The Republican Party of Duval County will not be intimidated by these cowards and we will not be silenced. I call on every Republican in our great city to stand up, get involved and show these radicals that we will not be intimidated from exercising our constitutional rights.”
“I call on every Republican in our great city to stand up, get involved, and show these radicals that we will not be intimidated from exercising our Constitutional rights.”
— Duval County GOP (@DuvalGOP) February 8, 2020
President Trump also issued a stern warning to anyone trying to use political ideology to attack others.
“Law Enforcement has been notified,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Be careful tough guys who you play with!”
Law Enforcement has been notified. Be careful tough guys who you play with! https://t.co/1Pq0hOrzy2
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2020