A 43-year-old Florida man was arrested Friday after allegedly spitting on an elderly bar patron wearing a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat. The man, Matthias Ajple, later told police that he didn’t care if he had to go to jail.
According to Robert Youngblood, 67, he was wearing his MAGA hat and sitting with friends in the Hurricane Grill and Wings bar in Vero Beach, Fla. when a stranger approached him.
According to a police report, Youngblood told the officers that the stranger stated “You should go back to Russia, you (expletive) communist.” He alleged that the man then reached out and slapped the visor of his MAGA hat before walking around a gate and spitting on him. The man then left the scene in his vehicle.
Youngblood was able to record the license plate number of the vehicle as it drove away, and provided it to police when they arrived. The police spoke to Youngblood’s two friends as well as the restaurant manager. The manager was able to replay surveillance video footage of the disturbance. According to the police report, “…It clearly shows the gentlemen (sic) slapping the brill of Youngblood’s hat and leaning over the gate to spit on him.”
The officers from Indian River County Sheriff’s Department then traced the vehicle to Laura Torres. Torres confirmed that she had been at the Hurricane Grill and Wings restaurant with her husband, Matthias Ajple. “Torres stated that she told her husband … to tell Youngblood to go back to Russia as a joke.” She said, declaring she did not see the alleged altercation.
After being given his Miranda warning by the police, the report stated that Ajple said “I was just trying to protect you guys because I support Law Enforcement, Trump supporters are communist and racist.” Ajple also said “I don’t even care that I’m going to jail, this is actually exciting, plus I have more time on this earth than he does anyway, he probably feels so good about himself.”
Ajple was placed under arrest and taken to Indian River County Jail. Police charged him with one count of battery and a bond of $500 was posted.