On Saturday afternoon, as Republicans in the area were attempting to register people to vote in a mobile tent outside of a Jacksonville shopping center, Gregory Timm, 27, allegedly drove his van straight into the tent. Several people who were inside dove out of the way. Fortunately, no one was injured.
“It happened so quickly. I just barely got out of the way,” said volunteer Nina Williams.
According to Jacksonville’s WJXT-TV, Timm allegedly made an obscene gesture to the victims as he was committing the act. Police also say that he appeared to have been taking a cellphone video of the assault. Authorities are monitoring social media to see if the video turns up.
Timm allegedly drove off after the incident. He was arrested several hours later and charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault on a Person 65 Years of Age or Older; one count of Criminal Mischief; and Driving While Driver’s License Suspended, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Lt. Larry Gayle declined to call the assault a politically motivated attack this early in the investigation.
“We don’t know if this is politically motivated. We’ve got detectives coming out. We’re following up on information and trying to determine if we can identify this person right now,” he said, via WSPD-TV.
Today in Jacksonville, Florida six Trump Campaign volunteers were intentionally targeted while registering voters. pic.twitter.com/0wzaCYh5ut— Duval County GOP (@DuvalGOP) February 8, 2020
However, Florida’s two United States senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, both Republicans, each used the words “politically motivated” in their tweets about the incident.
Similarly, Donald Trump also took notice of the incident, and tweeted a response.
“Be careful tough guys who you play with!,” he tweeted.
The Duval County Republican Party said in a statement that it will not be deterred by an act of violence.
“The Republican Party of Duval County plans to redouble its efforts to register voters and will continue its fight with renewed intensity to re-elect President Donald Trump,” the group said in a statement.
Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president back in 2016, there have been violent clashes between his supporters and his detractors. That violence has mostly been limited to such things as minor fisticuffs inside and outside of his rallies, or detractors tearing “Make America Great Again” hats off of supporters.
In one 2019 incident, as reported at the time by The Inquisitr, a man was accused of pulling his gun on a woman because he, a Trump supporter, took exception to the woman’s pro-Elizabeth Warren bumper stickers.