Trump supporter Tony Foreman is in intensive care after he was stabbed nine times following a “free speech rally” in Santa Monica, California, on Saturday.
Now some are claiming the June 17 stabbing is a hate crime because they claim Foreman was targeted for his pro-Trump views. The stabbing reportedly came after he left a sanctuary-city protest.
Foreman works as a bodyguard for Tim Gionet, an Internet personality known as “BakedAlaska,” his Twitter handle. He is also a member of Oathkeepers, a group of veterans who provide security at pro-Trump rallies.
“This was politically motivated,” Omar Navarro told Fox 11. “That’s a concern because he’s a good friend of mine. I’m just really shocked someone would do this. What happened to free speech?”
Gionet told the news station, “We don’t know if it was politically motivated, but we do know there were some racial slurs for him being white that were said to him.”
He added: “It’s been pretty heartbreaking. He’s lucky to be alive getting stabbed nine times.”
Watch the Fox 11 report:
Gionet, who claimed the assailants shouted “white boy & cracker,” tweeted: “LAPD detective tells me the last thing Tony heard before blacking out was: ‘You’re getting the shank White Boy.”
Santa Monica police confirmed they have arrested two suspects.
“The victim and suspects got into an argument that continued as both vehicles pulled out of a parking structure and allegedly resulted in a minor traffic collision,” police said.
According to the HeatStreet blog, Lt. Saul Rodriguez of the Santa Monica Police Department said the two male suspects have been identified as Edgar Khodzhasaryan, 30, and Arsen Bekverdyan, 31.
The two men were charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Bail was set at $1 million.
Rodriguez said authorities have no information indicating the attack was racially or politically motivated.
“There’s nothing here that would lead us to believe it was targeted or a hate crime or anything like that,” Rodriguez said.
He told the Los Angeles Times Khodzhasaryan and Bekverdyan had been leaving a parking structure when Foreman “made a comment to the suspects which led to an argument.”
The three men got out of their cars, Rodriguez said, and a fist fight ensued. The suspects left the scene, and Foreman, who discovered he had been stabbed, was transported to a hospital in critical condition, he said.
Foreman received a special gift in the ICU, according to Fox 11: a campaign sticker signed by President Trump.