A 77-year-old veteran from California was assaulted for wearing a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat and a “Back the Blue” mask, police said.
The attack happened on September 18 in broad daylight at a post office in Red Bluff, about 130 miles from Sacramento, KRCR reported.
The news station did not identify the man, who said one woman and one man approached him before the attack blindsided him.
“She looked at me and she goes, ‘We just don’t like people like you,’” the man told KRCR. “Just kind of got shocked a little bit and said, ‘Well, that breaks my heart,’ and no sooner out of my mouth, I get hit on the left side of my head.”
The man was wearing a MAGA hat in support of President Donald Trump and a “Back the Blue” American flag mask with a thin blue line, indicating support of the police.
The 77-year-old veteran said his attacker put him in a headlock and pummeled him on top of his head.
— KRCR News Channel 7 (@KRCR7) September 22, 2020
“I got blood all over the place and I’m trying to figure, ‘where’s my hat, where’s my package?’” he said.
The victim was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was treated and released. He said he is still suffering headaches, days after the attack.
Red Bluff Police later arrested a suspect named Daniel Gomez-Martinez, 26, and charged him with battery and elder abuse, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The victim said he should have seen the attack coming, given his years of experience in the military and law enforcement.
“I was so shocked for the hate that people have, you know. I don’t hate them. I never met them. I just can’t believe they would do something like that,” he said.