According to videos obtained by the Miami Herald, the man accused of attacking a canvasser working for Sen. Marcio Rubio (R-FL) in a solidly Republican community was encouraging the Rubio supporter before the alleged politically-motivated assault began.
Rubio posted news about the confrontation in an effort to score points before the midterm election where he is facing Rep. Val Demings (D) who is seeking his Senate seat.
"Last night one of our canvassers wearing my T-shirt and a Desantis hat was brutally attacked by 4 animals who told him Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood in #Hialeah #Florida He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw & will need facial reconstructive surgery," the Florida Republican tweeted along with pictures of a battered Christopher Monzon, 27.
Since that time, questions have been raised about whether the attack was actually politically motivated and not part of a different confrontation.
Later the Herald reported, Monzon "didn't actually tell police he was attacked for being a Republican canvasser — until Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted out, with no evidence, that he was."
Now the Herald reports the videos paints a different story, with one of the accused attackers heard encouraging him to go about his job.
"The man accused of a politically motivated attack on a Republican Party canvasser in Hialeah last month actually encouraged the canvasser to keep handing out fliers just moments before the fight started, according to cellphone videos obtained by the Miami Herald — raising more questions about whether the canvasser was attacked for being a Republican, as both he and Sen. Marco Rubio have repeatedly stated," the report states.
Jonathan Casanova, 27, can be heard saying to the canvasser, "It’s okay, bro, we’re telling you, do your job." the Herald claimed based on the video.
"Although Casanova mentions the canvasser’s Rubio t-shirt and says 'look what the U.S. Senate brings,' the video does not show him saying Monzon was unwelcome in the neighborhood because he was a Republican, as Monzon later told police," the report continued before adding that attorney Joseph Chambrot claims then the fight began, "because Monzon was staring too intently at Casanova’s girlfriend, who was seated inside her boyfriend’s car."
According to Chambrot, "This has nothing to do with Sen. Rubio ... or the Republican Party. This has absolutely nothing to do with politics. Too much testosterone in the room.”
The report adds that videos were handed over to the Herald by defense lawyers and it is not known at this time if there are more cell phone videos still out there.
You can read more here.