An elderly man, Charles Chase, was “violently targeted for his political views and violently assaulted,” said police in a statement to news outlets.
Chase told the police that he was standing in an area near North Main Street and Airport Road when a man stopped his car, yelled at the elderly man to give him the sign, and then ripped it out of his hands, according to the Providence Journal.
The man, Aidan Courtright, of 41 Rolling Green Drive, then grabbed the elderly man and threw him to the ground. When the man was on the ground, Courtright kicked his ribs and legs before driving away, said police.
“The guy when he came at me, I have never seen a horror story that the face was so filled with hate and anger as his was,” Chase told CBS Boston. “I was just frozen.”
Two witnesses corroborated his account, authorities said.
The victim told officials that he believes he was attacked for his political beliefs and the pro-Trump hat he was wearing.
Courtright later turned himself into police. He was then charged with a civil-rights violation with injury, assault and battery on person over 60, vandalism of personal property, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Courtright’s attorney, Marc Roberts, asked for a dangerousness hearing delayed in order to gather “character and other information to present to the court,” according to The Associated Press.