Police have issued an arrest warrant for a South Carolina man accused of hitting a 69-year-old woman who uses an oxygen tank in the face as she protested outside a recent Donald Trump rally in North Carolina.
The setting is a familiar one this election season: Attendees at a September 12 Trump event in Asheville, NC were met by protesters chanting various anti-Trump slogans. Among them was 69-year-old Shirley Teter, an Asheville resident and longtime activist who explained to local ABC affiliate WLOS, “Why did I get involved [Monday], at my age? Because I ran into another situation that was sickening my heart.”
As Trump’s event concluded, people began leaving the arena, where they passed Teter’s group of protesters.
“I said [to one man], ‘You better learn to speak Russian,’ and I said, ‘The first two words are going to be ha ha.’,” Teter told WLOS. “He stopped in his tracks, and he turned around and just cold-cocked me.”
The “he,” is reportedly Richard Campbell, 72, of Edisto Island, South Carolina. Matt Price, who witnessed the assault, told the Ashville Citizen-Times that there was a loud metal clank as Teter fell backwards onto the oxygen tank she uses for her chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“Then a little eruption ensued,” Price continued. “And some people chased down that guy and there was a little heated moment right there before the cops stepped in.”
A police spokesperson told the Citizen-Times that no arrests were made at that time, because officers didn’t witness the attack itself. However, by Tuesday afternoon, an arrest warrant had been issued for Campbell.
Teter told WLOS that she suffered from sore ribs, a sore jaw, and cut her elbow, and was hospitalized until early the following morning.
According to the Citizen-Times, five arrests were made at the rally itself, for charges ranging from trespassing to obstructing an officer. Teter’s assault wasn’t the only instance of violence at the event, either. On Tuesday afternoon, Thomas Vellanti, Jr., 57, turned himself into police after footage of him slapping several protesters being removed from the rally was shared widely.
““It’s okay, the cameras are following us,” Trump reportedly told the crowd.