An altercation between rival campaign workers in Houston resulted in one man being arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, ABC 13 reports.
According to Houston police, Phach “Danny” Nguyen hung a sign accusing Republican candidate Al Hoang of being a Communist sympathizer. Hoang is, in fact, a former prisoner of war who was imprisoned by the Communist party in Vietnam for over a year.
One of Hoang’s supporters, Peter Vo, tried to use a pair of box cutters to remove the sign.
“That’s my banner, don’t do that!” Nguyen shouted as he approached Vo. In an effort to ward Nguyen off, Vo allegedly pushed him, then took a swing with the box cutters.
“He used a box cutter, trying to cut my neck,” Nguyen said. “He attacked me.”
The charge of being a Communist sympathizer is, in Vietnamese-American communities, a serious accusation, one that often results in legal battles concerning its use in Vietnamese-language publications. In fact, earlier this month, Hoang sued the Vietnamese-language publication Thoi Bao Houston for libeling him “as a Vietnamese Communist, an agent of Vietnamese Communist, [and] a spy of the Vietnamese Communist.”
Hoang believed that protests in front of his house, as well as what the lawsuit alleged was a “cocktail bomb death threat,” were a direct result of the fact that the article accusing him of Communist sympathies was “disseminated to Vietnamese e-forums and Internet for millions of readers to view.”
Despite the explosiveness of the charge on the sign victim Nguyen attempted to hang, Hoang insisted that he did not condone the attack, and does not believe Vo was attempting to kill anyone. “One of my supporters just took the law into his own hands,” he said. “[Vo] said he just wanted to cut the banner only; that’s it. But when people came to attack him, he said, ‘Don’t come, don’t come.'”
Watch the ABC 13 report on the incident below.