A walk in downtown Tucson left a Trump fan with a badly broken ankle after a man allegedly assaulted him over his Make America Great Again hat.
“Jonathan Sparks is passionate about his political beliefs, but he said those beliefs were attacked while he was walking around Tucson,” NBC affiliate News 4 Tucson reports.
Sparks says he was downtown last week wearing the iconic red hat and encouraging his fellow Tucsonans to vote Republican, when he was suddenly attacked from behind.
“I felt a very strong grasp on my hat, and it pulled me back and grabbed a lot of hair,” Sparks told the outlet (video below). “The assailant had jumped onto my ankle from behind. And so I — not knowing yet my ankle was broken into four pieces — I turned around to grab and take the hat back. My hands latched onto the hat.”
At that point, he said, they both fell to the ground, his ankle shattered.
“Then I heard the words Hitler, Nazi and Trump,” said Sparks. “He was shouting things like that.”
The attack, Sparks said, was clearly politically motivated. His defense of Trump, who Sparks described as “a fantastic president of the United States,” had clearly triggered the man. “I think that intolerance to those ideologies was the flame,” he said, suggesting that if he had been promoting left-leaning views he wouldn’t have been a target.
The assailant then “came over the top of me and, over and over again, he hit me.”
Luckily for Sparks, some Good Samaritans rushed over to help him, pulling off the attacker and holding him until police could arrive.
News 4 reports that the police arrested the assailant for suspected assault.
As for his ankle, Sparks told reporters that it was extremely “painful,” describing it as “just hanging there.” After about 20 hours at the hospital, he was finally able to get home, his ankle in a large cast — but his mood surprisingly sunny.
Though he says he was “attacked with vengeance by an evil man,” Sparks says he’s ultimately encouraged by the incident.
“[Y]ou know what God taught me through the whole thing?” he said. “How wonderful Tucson is. There were people who pulled him off, paramedics who stayed with me; there is a police officer that protected me.”
Arizona was one of the big stories going into the election due to the particularly vulnerable U.S. Senate seat left vacant by outgoing Republican Jeff Flake, who decided to hang it up after two years of publicly feuding with Trump and many of his fellow Republicans. As the vote count slowly trickled in over the course of days following the election, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was able to edge out Republican Martha McSally, 49.7 to 48. Despite picking up the formerly Republican seat, the Democrats ended up with a net loss of 2 seats, Republicans picking up 4 and Democrats picking up 2.
Watch News 4’s report below: