A New York City plastic surgeon performed surgery on a Brooklyn man’s face free of charge after the man suffered multiple injuries to his face when someone allegedly attacked him for wearing a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat.
Jovanni Valle, 26, suffered a broken nose and a laceration on his cheek requiring 15 stitches after being hit with a broken glass bottle over his head July 7 at a Bulgarian bar called Mehanata on the Lower East Side at 3:30 a.m., the New York Post reported.
Valle, who often goes by “Jovi Val,” said he and 15 of his friends came to the bar from a book party for former Breitbart News senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ book Dangerous.
He said he was dancing when his Trump hat fell off and a female bar patron “repeatedly” stomped on it.
“That’s enough, what are you doing?” Valle asked the woman.
“I hate this hat, I hate you,” the woman responded.
Valle said that as he put his hand on her shoulder, the woman’s boyfriend hit him from behind.
When Dr. Joseph Pober’s office assistant showed him a video of Valle getting smacked in the head with the bottle, Dr. Pober immediately wanted to see what he could do to help.
“This is something that had to be done. When I heard about this I was shocked,” Dr. Pober said. “It’s freedom of speech that is being attacked and assaulted. … I can’t imagine that anyone in America would viciously assault you, break your nose and slice your face with a broken beer bottle.”
Valle, who is uninsured, received his initial treatment for his injuries in the emergency room before Dr. Pober evaluated him.
Dr. Pober said he examined Valle a few days after his trip to the emergency room.
“I evaluated him and I felt that he had a severe injury of his nose and there was a blood clot underneath the suturing of his cheek and that had to be drained,” Dr. Pober said.
The Park Avenue plastic surgeon performed the surgery July 14 that reduced the appearance of Valle’s nose fracture, drained his cheek of the blood clot, and re-sutured the “gaping” wound in his cheek.
Dr. Pober said Valle would need two more surgeries, but the doctor said he would happily cover all medical expenses. Dr. Pober’s office estimates that he’s performed about $30,000 worth of procedures so far.
Valle said he was “astonished” by the doctor’s offer to cover the cost of his surgeries.
“I just couldn’t believe it, I was astonished,” he said. “When you think of plastic surgery you never think of free. You think of thousands and thousands of dollars.”
Police arrested Emma Rodriguez, 24, and her boyfriend Leonardo Heinert, 25, and charged them with assault for allegedly attacking Valle. According to the criminal complaint, Heinert “repeatedly” pummeled Valle while Rodriguez “smashed” the glass bottle on his head. Both were released without posting bail, according to police records.
Others wearing MAGA hats in New York City have been physically and verbally attacked for sporting President Trump’s signature campaign slogan.
A Bronx man was attacked by two men on a subway after they asked if he supported Trump shortly after the 2016 election in November.
In March, a New York Post journalist wore a MAGA hat as a self-described “social experiment” and was cursed out by various people he encountered in New York City.