A supporter of President Donald Trump who was beaten with a broken glass bottle and had his face disfigured for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat received plastic surgery free of charge from a Park Avenue doctor in New York City.
Jovanni Valle, also known as Jovi Val, was attacked at around 3:30 a.m. on July 7 at Mehanata, a Bulgarian bar on the Lower East Side.
Upon learning about the attack, plastic surgeon Joseph M. Pober decided to help, the New York Post reported.
“This is something that had to be done. When I heard about this, I was shocked,” Pober told the Post.
“It’s freedom of speech that is being attacked and assaulted. I can’t imagine that anyone in America would viciously assault you, break your nose and slice your face with a broken beer bottle.”
Pober’s office manager showed him a video of Valle’s injuries. Valle was uninsured and had 15 stitches from the ER.
“I evaluated him and I felt that he had a severe injury of his nose and there was a blood clot underneath the suturing of his cheek and that had to be drained,” Pober said.
The surgery was performed on July 14.
Pober’s office estimates the expenses donated to Valle are around $30,000. Valle will need two more surgeries, but Pober will be glad to help.
Valle was moved by the doctor’s compassion.
“I just couldn’t believe it, I was astonished,” he said. “When you think of plastic surgery, you never think of free. You think of thousands and thousands of dollars.”
On the night of the attack, Valle was dancing at Bulgarian bar Mehanata when his hat fell off. Another patron, Emma Rodriguez, proceeded to repeatedly step on the hat. When Valle told her to stop and asked her what she was doing, she replied, “I hate this hat, I hate you.”
When Valle placed a hand on the woman’s shoulder, her boyfriend, Leonardo Heinert, 25, attacked him from behind. The woman then smashed a bottle on his head, according to the criminal complaint.
“I wear my hat because I want to make America great again, like the president,” he told the Post. “I like Trump because he doesn’t sugarcoat anything. A hat that says ‘America’ and ‘great’ on it shouldn’t be polarizing. This is a political hate crime. I got attacked for what I think.”
Police charged Rodriguez and Heinert with assault and both were released without bail, according to police records.