HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - A Florida senator said one of his supporters was the victim of a brutal attack in a South Florida neighborhood.
Police said the man was passing out flyers when someone confronted him, and things took a violent turn that landed the victim in the hospital.
According to authorities, one of the men behind the attack is 25-year-old Javier Lopez, who appeared in court.
Lopez was on probation for other crimes, and his bond was revoked on Tuesday as the victim recovered from his injuries.
“Officers found the victim, who is 27 years, with a laceration to his face and multiple bruising to his eye and head,” said Hialeah PD Sgt. Jose Torres.
Bruised and bloodied, Christopher Monzon has been recovering in the hospital after, officers said, he was beat up while passing out flyers along East 60th Street, near First Avenue, for Marco Rubio in Hialeah on Sunday.
Both Senator Rubio and his Democratic opponent Val Demings, on Monday, mentioned what happened to Monzon during campaign stops throughout South Florida.
“Four individuals assaulted him, broke his nose, broke his jaw, suffered internal bleeding. We will learn more,” said Rubio. “I can tell you this: political violence should not be tolerated by anyone. Our side, their side, we don’t tolerate political violence. In this country, we decide who governs not by street mobs, we decide who governs at the ballot box.”
“I do not tolerate violent crime under any circumstance,” said Demings.
The senator later posted a tweet saying Monzon was “attacked by 4 animals who told him Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood.”
“He told the victim he can’t pass through the sidewalk. The victim goes onto the street, he chases him down and basically slams him to the floor, punches him multiple times,” said Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mindy S. Glazer.
“He was out on bond, so he has other charges that he is being charged. He is currently in TGK custody facing those charges as well,” said Torres.
A man at Lopez’s house says he is family but didn’t want to comment on the arrest.
He did, however, tell 7News that Lopez’s mother has been crying all day.
Meanwhile, back in Hialeah, officers are on the hunt for surveillance footage.
The victim is no stranger to controversy, he was arrested in 2017 after causing a ruckus outside Hollywood City Hall as leaders there voted to remove the names of Confederate generals from city streets.
It’s being reported he used to have ties to white supremacist groups.
“I will stand here for the South. I will stand here for Florida, and I will stand here for my country,” said Monzon.
Now, video on social media has surfaced of Monzon at the deadly 2017 Unite The Right Rally in Charlottesville.
“I intend to stand for the South and die for it, if need be. They will not replace us,” said Monzon in the video.
Since then, there have been articles published where Monzon said he regrets his past and has changed his ways.
When asked what may have motivated this apparent attack, police said it’s still too early in the investigation.
“We’re going to allow detectives to conduct their own investigation and come down to the conclusion whether it was hate motivated or political motivated,” said Torres.
As local leaders condemn the apparent attack, Hialeah Mayor Steve Bovo tweeted: “Freedom of speech is the bedrock of our democracy, and cowardly acts such as this should be condemned by all regardless of individual political affiliation. The investigation will continue until all of those responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Initially, Monzon had agreed to speak with 7News from his hospital bed but changed his mind last minute.
7News has reached out to Rubio’s team in regards to comments about Monzon’s past but have yet to hear back.
Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.