Note: The headline and text of this story have been updated to reflect the latest information about the incident shown in the video.
A video showing a sudden and violent attack against an anti-Donald Trump protester during a rally at Ohio State University quickly went viral this week, with onlookers attributing the assault to the unrest that’s followed the presidential election. However, in the days following the incident, the victim of the assault has revealed that he thinks he was attacked for wholly different reasons.
On Monday, approximately 100 students were gathered at OSU’s student union to rally against Donald Trump when protest organizer Timothy Adams was rushed from behind and tackled to the ground as he addressed the crowd. According to the campus newspaper The Lantern, Adams’ glasses and bullhorn were broken in the attack, but he recovered quickly, asking stunned onlookers, “Can I finish my speech now?” once the scene had settled. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Adams’ left hand was also injured.
According to The Washington Post, Adams graduated from OSU in 2014, and had returned to campus as part of the Socialist Alternative advocacy group, which had organized the rally. Shane Michael Stanton, the man arrested for tackling Adams, was reportedly placed under “indefinite suspension” by Ohio State. He is expected to be arraigned in court this week.
But on Tuesday, Adams said that he wanted the charges against Stanton dropped, because he’d been mistaken about the nature of the attack.
“It was clear that my assault was not politically motivated in the way that we previously thought,” Adams explained in a Facebook note cited by The Lantern. “Nor was it committed by a Trump supporter.”
The International Socialists Organization, the group responsible for the rally, expanded on Adams’ comment in a statement:
Since last night, however, we have learned that the man, an OSU student, is not a right-wing activist and was himself upset by the Trump election. We have received further information we will not disclose to protect the man’s privacy, but which has made us confident he should not face charges for the action.
Tim and other ISO members are in the process of reaching out to police, prosecutors, and this student’s family and friends to have charges dropped immediately and to ensure his quick release from jail.
In a statement to The Lantern, OSU spokesperson Chris Davey called Stanton’s attack on Adams a “disturbing incident” and reiterated the school’s commitment to its students:
“As we said last week,” Davey explained, referencing an earlier email sent to the campus community following Trump’s victory, “the safety of our students and freedom of speech are bedrock, immutable principles that are the foundation of our university.”