An Ohio man was reportedly so upset about anti-Trump protests in his town that he set himself on fire, the Akron Beacon Journal is reporting. Fortunately, the man survived his attempt at self-immolation and is likely to make a recovery.
Last week, Akron, like so many other cities across the country, had been host to an anti-Trump protest. Akron’s protest brought “several hundred” people.
Anti-Trump protest in Akron, Ohio. See item number NE-030TU. pic.twitter.com/uPGiBolpLV
— CNN Newsource (@CNNNewsource) November 16, 2016
That fact apparently didn’t sit well with an unnamed 69-year-old man.
Angel Falls Coffee is in the same Akron neighborhood where the anti-Trump protest had taken place. Employees and customers who were there on Saturday morning say that, at about 9:20 a.m., a man walked in wearing cloth gloves, blue pants with a red stripe, a military hat, and coat — or, as Akron Police Sgt. Dennis Woodall told The Cleveland Plain Delaer, a Marine Corps Uniform.
The visibly agitated man then approached a table of customers and began ranting about the anti-Trump protests.
“Does anyone know who organized the recent protest against Trump?”
Customer Denise Bowman says the man quickly became agitated.
“For less than a second, he was calm. But then he became agitated. His tone changed, his body language changed and he got loud.”
The man’s language and behavior getting more aggressive, he began naming off all of the places where he’d served in the military, saying he “gave his blood for this country.” Customers had enough and asked him to be mindful of the fact that there were children in the building. That’s when he either showed a gun — or pretended to show a gun — to the customers.
“He said ‘I have a f*****g gun, you S.O.B., and I’m not afraid to use it.'”
The man then left the coffee shop and walked out of sight. But owner Jim King and one of his customers were concerned about the man and decided to check on him.
A couple of blocks away, a horrifying scene was beginning to unfold. Witnesses say that the man approached a neighborhood passerby identified only as “Mike,” whom the man asked to take a photo of him on his (the man’s) phone. As Mike was getting ready to snap a shot, witnesses say the man grabbed a gasoline can, poured gas on himself, then lit himself on fire.
Fortunately, residents and witnesses nearby were able to put out the man with fire extinguishers. Someone called an ambulance, and the man was taken to a nearby hospital. As of this writing, he remains in stable condition.
Emotions have been running high across the country since the election of Donald Trump. Rumors have emerged that some people — LGBTQ youth, in particular — have even committed suicide in the wake of the election, although according to Snopes, those rumors have yet to be proven. It appears, however, that the Akron man may be the first person to actually attempt suicide over the results of the election (although to be fair, he was upset about the reaction to the results of the election, not the election itself).
Bowman says she is still shaken by the events of Saturday morning, as well as the larger issue of anti-Trump protests apparently driving a man to suicide.
“And now that I’ve seen this, a suicide attempt with a veteran. I’m scared,” she said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen next. All I can say is God help us and help Trump, too. God help our country.”
[Featured Image by Olaf Speier/Shutterstock]