Update: Suspect arrested, see below
Approximately six Trump supporters were attacked in the parking lot of a Jacksonville, Florida Walmart Saturday afternoon at around 3:50 p.m. when a man in his 20s plowed through a voter registration tent, according to the local Sheriff's Office.
JSO: White man, 20’s, drives through voter registration tent for local GOP, endangering people & damaging tent, tables. No injuries. When asked if this was politically motivated: “At this point we don’t know the motivation of the suspect but the investigation is just starting.” pic.twitter.com/1qMQHnnS9t— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) February 8, 2020
"It happened so quickly," said volunteer Nina Williams, one of five women who were working the tent. "I just barely got out of the way."
After driving through the tent, the man stopped, took a video, and flipped off the Republicans before driving off.
BREAKING: Attempted mass murder of Trump volunteers in Jacksonville pic.twitter.com/eTd4axXPe4— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 9, 2020
"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," said Volunteer Mike Alfiere, the sixth volunteer, adding "After he ran over everything, he backed up, took out a cell phone, kind of recorded the damage, made some obscene gestures at us and then proceeded to leave the complex."
Update: The Jax Sheriff's Office has arrested Gregory Timm, 27, in connection with the incident. He has been charged with aggravated assault, criminal mischief and driving on a suspended license.
#JSO has arrested the suspect who drove through the voter registration tent in the area of 11900 Atlantic Boulevard.— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) February 9, 2020
Gregory Timm has been charged with Aggravated Assault, Criminal Mischief, and Driving While Driver’s License Suspended. pic.twitter.com/zGKbR2VTg0
FirstCoastNews confirms my scoop that Gregory Timm was a member of the Theatrical Stage Employee union in Jacksonville, training to be a sound engineer— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 9, 2020
He has been suspended following his alleged van attack on Trump supporters https://t.co/zeoKW1kXVK
Responding to the incident, the Duval Country Democratic Party issued a statement condemning the act, saying "No one's life should be placed in danger for exercising their first amendment rights."
.@DuvalDEC condemns this incident & says it looks forward to suspect’s arrest. Again, motivation of suspect not known, per JSO. @ActionNewsJax will have a live report at 10. pic.twitter.com/XT1KDsyGi6— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) February 9, 2020
"The hate is toxic and dangerous," tweeted Jacksonville Mayor, Lenny Curry. "Thankfully no one was injured but certainly they are shaken after being targeted because they were registering voters."
Sadly, this happened. I spoke to the GOP chair. This is outrageous. The hate is toxic and dangerous. Thankfully no one was injured but certainly they are shaken after being targeted because they were registering voters. I’ve spoken to the Sheriff & of course his team is on this https://t.co/dRENZi0Bxq— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) February 8, 2020
President Trump weighed in Saturday afternoon, tweeting "Law Enforcement has been notified. Be careful tough guys who you play with!"
Law Enforcement has been notified. Be careful tough guys who you play with! https://t.co/1Pq0hOrzy2— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2020
JPO detectives will be looking into this as a case of aggravated assault, and have withheld comment on the driver's motivation.
"We are outraged by this senseless act of violence toward our great volunteers," said Duval GOP Chairman Dean Black, according to CBS 47. "The Republican Party of Duval County will not be intimidated by these cowards and we will not be silenced. I call on every Republican in our great city to stand up, get involved, and show these radicals that we will not be intimidated from exercising our Constitutional rights."
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the target of a violent 2017 shooting at the hands of a Bernie Sanders supporter, tweeted "@realDonaldTrump supporters shouldn't have to fear for their lives while registering people to vote," adding "This can't be the new normal. Democrats need to join me in condemning this behavior."
Enough.@realDonaldTrump supporters shouldn't have to fear for their lives while registering people to vote.— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 9, 2020
There's no place for violence in politics. We settle differences at the ballot box.
This can't be the new normal. Democrats need to join me in condemning this behavior. https://t.co/vV87snuY0s
And former Florida governor Sen. Rick Scott tweeted "@DuvalGOP will not be silenced or intimidated. They will redouble their efforts to support strong Republicans in NE Florida and around the state!"
This appears to be a politically-motivated attack on hard-working volunteers in Duval County. Thankful that no one was hurt. @DuvalGOP will not be silenced or intimidated. They will redouble their efforts to support strong Republicans in NE Florida and around the state! https://t.co/F4Qi7hk7CR— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) February 8, 2020
A Van intentionally drove through a Republican Party voter registration tent in Jacksonville.— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) February 9, 2020
No one was hurt, but this was an act of Targeted Political Violence.
The Left has openly encouraged hostility toward Conservatives, this must be condemned.#TrumpSupportersAttacked pic.twitter.com/lkM1POjw7A