Approximately six Trump supporters were attacked in the parking lot of a Jacksonville, Florida Walmart Saturday afternoon at around 3:50 p.m. when a man in his 20s plowed through a voter registration tent, according to the local Sheriff’s Office.
JSO: White man, 20’s, drives through voter registration tent for local GOP, endangering people & damaging tent, tables. No injuries. When asked if this was politically motivated: “At this point we don’t know the motivation of the suspect but the investigation is just starting.” pic.twitter.com/1qMQHnnS9t
— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) February 8, 2020
“It happened so quickly,” said volunteer Nina Williams, one of five women who were working the tent. “I just barely got out of the way.”
After driving through the tent, the man stopped, took a video, and flipped off the Republicans before driving off.
BREAKING: Attempted mass murder of Trump volunteers in Jacksonville pic.twitter.com/eTd4axXPe4
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 9, 2020
“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,” said Volunteer Mike Alfiere, the sixth volunteer, adding “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.”
Responding to the incident, the Duval Country Democratic Party issued a statement condemning the act, saying “No one’s life should be placed in danger for exercising their first amendment rights.”
.@DuvalDEC condemns this incident & says it looks forward to suspect’s arrest. Again, motivation of suspect not known, per JSO. @ActionNewsJax will have a live report at 10. pic.twitter.com/XT1KDsyGi6
— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) February 9, 2020
“The hate is toxic and dangerous,” tweeted Jacksonville Mayor, Lenny Curry. “Thankfully no one was injured but certainly they are shaken after being targeted because they were registering voters.”
Sadly, this happened. I spoke to the GOP chair. This is outrageous. The hate is toxic and dangerous. Thankfully no one was injured but certainly they are shaken after being targeted because they were registering voters. I’ve spoken to the Sheriff & of course his team is on this https://t.co/dRENZi0Bxq
— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) February 8, 2020
President Trump weighed in Saturday afternoon, tweeting “Law Enforcement has been notified. 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
JPO detectives will be looking into this as a case of aggravated assault, and have withheld comment on the driver’s motivation.
“We are outraged by this senseless act of violence toward our great volunteers,” said Duval GOP Chairman Dean Black, according to CBS 47. “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.”
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the target of a violent 2017 shooting at the hands of a Bernie Sanders supporter, tweeted “@realDonaldTrump supporters shouldn’t have to fear for their lives while registering people to vote,” adding “This can’t be the new normal. Democrats need to join me in condemning this behavior.”
Enough.@realDonaldTrump supporters shouldn't have to fear for their lives while registering people to vote.
There's no place for violence in politics. We settle differences at the ballot box.
This can't be the new normal. Democrats need to join me in condemning this behavior. https://t.co/vV87snuY0s
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 9, 2020
Lastly, former Florida governor Sen. Rick Scott tweeted “@DuvalGOP will not be silenced or intimidated. They will redouble their efforts to support strong Republicans in NE Florida and around the state!”
This appears to be a politically-motivated attack on hard-working volunteers in Duval County. Thankful that no one was hurt. @DuvalGOP will not be silenced or intimidated. They will redouble their efforts to support strong Republicans in NE Florida and around the state! https://t.co/F4Qi7hk7CR
— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) February 8, 2020