JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man in Florida is under arrest after he deliberately drove a van into a tent where voters were being registered by local Republicans, authorities in Jacksonville said Sunday.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said via social media that 27-year-old Gregory William Loel Timm has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a person 65 years old or older, one count of criminal mischief and driving with a suspended license. The Republican party of Duval County said it had set up the tent on Saturday in order to register voters.
The county GOP said via Twitter that six volunteers for President Donald Trump’s campaign “were intentionally targeted while registering voters.”
Local media said there were no injuries.
“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,” volunteer Mark Alfieri told television station WJAX.
Afterward, he backed up, recorded the damaged tent and scattered signs on his cell phone and made obscene gestures before leaving, Alfieri said.
The sheriff’s office says deputies responded to the scene after receiving reports of a dispute. The tent appeared to be set up in a parking lot. There were no online court records posted for Timm on Sunday morning, so it wasn’t known if he had a lawyer. Jail records show he was still in custody Sunday morning.
The sheriff’s office on Sunday didn’t immediately return a phone call or email seeking further details.
Citing the president of a local theatrical workers union, television station WTLV reported that Timm was training to be a sound engineer.
In a tweet, GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said, “These unprovoked, senseless attacks on @realDonaldTrump’s supporters need to end.”
President Donald Trump retweeted that message and added, “Be careful tough guys who you play with!”
In a statement, the Duval County Democratic Party condemned what it called “this cowardly act of violence.”
“No one’s life should be placed in danger for exercising their First Amendment rights,” the statement said. “As Democrats, but more importantly, as residents of this great city of Jacksonville, we call on our fellow citizens to act with dignity, civility and respect for one another during the election cycle and beyond.”
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