A Pennsylvania Trump supporter has been charged with multiple misdemeanors after he allegedly assaulted retired social worker Frank Ashbaugh, 69, who was staging a one-man anti-Trump protest at a grassy intersection, TribLive reports.
Michael Robert Atwood, 38, has been charged by Allegheny Township police with a misdemeanor count of simple assault and other related charges after he allegedly attacked Ashbaugh as he sat in a lawn chair holding an anti-Trump sign.
"This guy hit me from behind and I never saw him coming," Ashbaugh said, adding that Atwood grabbed a camera strap that was around his neck, using it to pull him to the ground. Atwood also faces charges of theft, criminal mischief, and causing damage to property.
"I think it was premeditated because he parked far away in the Stanford lot and had gloves on when he attacked me," Ashbaugh said.
Atwood claimed to TribLive that he reached out to Ashbaugh and "agreed to pay for the camera that was accidentally broke" and that Ashbaugh agreed to drop the charges, but Ashbaugh tells TribLive that he hasn't agreed to anything, saying only that someone claiming to be an friend of Atwood's showed up on his doorstep and asked him to drop the charges, to which he declined.
"It's my free speech rights," Ashbaugh said. "As long as I don't block traffic, my free speech rights are protected."
In a post to Facebook, Ashbaugh shared his own account of the incident, along with photos of the assault as it took place.
"As I was sitting in my lawn chair facing traffic waving a sign that read 'Trump is a loser and a cheat' on one side and 'Biden beat Bozo' on the other. This is when some back fighting TrumpChump sneaks up from behind and gives me a sweeping forearm to the back of my head as he grabbed my sign out of my hands," Ashbaugh wrote. "He started calling me a 'fat f*ck' to which I had no reply, since I really am a fat f*ck. He immediately started to depart back across the street to Stanford's lumber yard. (I found out later from police that Stanford's surveillance camera had his car and him down at their rental operation). But before he left, I told him that he was on camera, which further enraged him. I had my own camera out and I snapped the photo of him swatting me with my 2 signs before he fled."