While sharing a meal with friends Wednesday night at a local restaurant in San Antonio, video shows 16-year-old Hunter Richard being assaulted and verbally abused for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.
“You ain’t supporting s***,” the man says in the video as he throws a drink in Richard’s face, then walks away while holding his hat.
“This is going to go great in my ****fireplace***” the attacker adds, appearing to exit the restaurant.
Patricia Spittler, a woman reported to be the mother of one of the boys with Richard, posted the video to Facebook asking people to help identify the man.
“It would be nice to know who he is for someone to let him know his actions are not okay. Real tough guy… approaches a group of teenagers minding their own business just having a burger. He kept his hat, too,” Spittler wrote in the since deleted post.
Following the incident, Richard says he believes having civil conversations about political differences is the way to move forward, not resorting to violence.
“I support my President and, if you don’t, let’s have a conversation about it instead of ripping my hat off. I just think a conversation about politics is more productive for the entire whole rather than taking my hat and yelling subjective words to me.”
The attacker has now been identified as Kino Jimenez, a part-time employee of San Antonio bar, Rumble.
A statement issued by the bar’s owners said that the incident had come to their attention and that they have since terminated the employee because “his actions go against everything that this establishment stands for.”
“THIS BAR IS A SAFE SPACE FOR EVERYONE! No matter your race, creed, ethnicity, sexual identity, and political stance, you are welcomed here!”
The assault comes after comments made last month by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) that encouraged anti-Trump voters to “harrass” and “protest” members of the Trump administration.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. You push back on them,” Waters said.
Jonathan Wackrow, a former US Secret Service agent, wrote that Waters’ comments “go beyond breaking the norms of civil discourse; they are dangerous, as they can be misinterpreted as a call to physical action or harm against an individual and people who associate with them.”
Wackrow is concerned that this kind of rhetoric will eventually lead to violence against individuals, not just government officials.
“As a former United States Secret Service agent, I am keenly aware of the evolutionary process by which a protest that grows around a politically charged ethos can act as the catalyst for violent action by an individual or group. Law enforcement has long known of the potential for such phases to transform rhetoric into destructiveness, or physical harm toward people,” Wackrow concluded.