So far in the 2016 election, it has been supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump who have been painted as violent. But New Jersey residents like to defy expectations.
A 62-year-old man wearing a pro-Trump t-shirt was reportedly beaten with a crowbar in Bloomfield, New Jersey, last week outside of a restaurant. His attacker followed him into the parking lot to his car, asked him about the shirt, cursed at him and then hit him repeatedly with the tool on his arms, hands and thighs. The attacker, police said, fled before authorities could make it to the scene.
A waitress at the Friendly’s restaurant said the Trump supporter was actually less than innocent. Her account of the events was that the victim had called another customer a slur before getting into a fight that she separated.
The incident occurred roughly one week before Trump made comments at a campaign rally Tuesday that were widely interpreted as promoting violence against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. At the rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, Trump said if Clinton became president there would be nothing that anyone could do about her potential Supreme Court nominees. The second amendment of the Constitution, he figured, would be in danger. Then, after a quick moment, Trump seemed to suggest that his supporters’ rights to bear arms could be used to stop her court nominations. (The Trump campaign later said he did not intend to stoke violence.)
Trump’s campaign rallies are well known for their frequent spates of violence. News organizations have developed running lists of violent episodes at the events and some of the incidents — including one in which a Trump supporter punched an unaware protester, have gone viral and attracted national media attention. One incident involved Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was accused of grabbing a reporter’s arm and bruising her.