FALL RIVER, MASS. (WHDH) - A man is facing charges after police say he violently attacked an 82-year-old man who was wearing a Trump hat and holding a sign about the president in Fall River on Tuesday.
Officers responding to a report of an elderly man who had been targeted and assaulted for his political views met with 82-year-old Charlie Chace who said he had been standing on the grass area of the rotary at North Main Street and Airport Road while holding a sign about President Trump when a man, later identified as 27-year-old Aidan Courtright, of Fall River, put his car in park, exited his vehicle and screamed at the victim to “Give me the (expletive) sign,” according to Fall River police.
Courtright then allegedly grabbed the sign out of Chace’s hands, ripped it in half, and threw it on the ground.
He then grabbed the 82-year-old by his shirt, knocked his Trump hat off, and threw the elderly man to the ground, police said.
“The guy jumped at me,” Chace explained. “He lifted me up and then body slammed me.”
Courtright allegedly proceeded to kick him in the ribs and legs while wearing leather-pointed shoes.
He then got back in his vehicle and drove off, police said.
Chace stated that he believed that he was targeted and attacked because of his political beliefs. Talking about his experience, he got emotional.
“I think it comes from the love I have for the country and why we are treating each other like this,” he said. “It tears me up.”
Two independent witnesses observed the attack and reportedly corroborated the Chace’s version of the events.
Chace, who police say had visible bruising on his lower back, was transported to Charlton Memorial Hospital for an evaluation.
“I just want America to get back to being America again,” he said. “I want both parties to stop dividing people.”
Courtright was contacted by police and later turned himself over to authorities at the Fall River police station.
He is facing multiple charges, including civil rights violation with injury, assault and battery on a person over 60, vandalism of personal property, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Chace served in the Air Force in the 50s and said he has seen a lot — but this experience was unlike any other.
“This is the worst I’ve ever seen – that guy’s eyes, his face,” he said. “I mean it was so scary.”
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