HIALEAH, FL – Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed outrage on Twitter on Monday after a volunteer canvassing for his reelection campaign was assaulted Sunday evening, saying that the victim was specifically targeted because of his political affiliation.
“Last night one of our canvassers wearing my T-shirt and a DeSantis hat was brutally attacked by 4 animals who told him Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood in #Hialeah #Florida,” Rubio said. “He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw & will need facial reconstructive surgery.”
However, there appears to be some disputes between Rubio’s account of the incident and the findings of police, who have stated that they do not believe that politics were the motivating factor for the attack.
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The volunteer in question – identified as Christopher Monzon – was allegedly assaulted at approximately 6:30 p.m. in Hialeah, a city in Miami-Dade County, by Javier Jesus Lopez, 22, who lives down the block from where the incident took place. The police report states that Monzon had been “walking around the neighborhood handing out fliers when he came across [Lopez] who was blocking the sidewalk.”
“[Lopez] confronted the vic and stated that he could not pass through the sidewalk in front of his residence,” the Hialeah Police report states. “Vic proceeded to walk towards the street to avoid the defendant at which point the defendant stated to the vic, ‘You can’t pass by here this is my neighborhood.’ Vic then stated to the defendant, ‘This is public property and I can be here if I want to.’”
Lopez and Monzon reportedly went on to have a “verbal dispute,” followed by Lopez allegedly grabbing the victim and slamming him onto the ground. At that point, a third unidentified man got involved, kicking Monzon in the face while Lopez purportedly punched him “multiple times with closed fists… causing him to have a severe swelling on the right side of his face and his right eye being completely shut… [Lopez] continued striking the [volunteer] on his mouth causing a severe swelling and bleeding.”
Responding police tracked Lopex down and arrested him shortly afterward, transporting him to Miami’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. Hialeah Fire Rescue Engine 2 responded to the scene to treat Monzon’s injuries.
The report makes no mention of a political motive, Lopez saying anything about Republicans, or the other people Rubio claimed were involved in the attack. Sgt. Jose Torres of the Hialeah PD said on Monday that an investigation into the incident is still ongoing, and when asked if the violence was political, replied that there is “no indication that is the case.”
It has also come out that in addition to volunteering for Rubio’s campaign, Monzon – who is Cuban American – is an alleged neo-Nazi who attended the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was later arrested while protesting a gathering pushing for streets named after Confederate generals to be renamed.