3 Beaten in Fight Over Politics, Trump Hat: Police - NBC Southern California
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3 Beaten in Fight Over Politics, Trump Hat: Police

"He goes, ‘You got a problem with me?’ My friend said, ‘No, but I have a problem with your politics”

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    A Florida man was arrested on three counts of felony assault with significant bodily injury. The police report also listed a suspected hate crime based on anti-political motivation. News4's Jackie Bensen reports.

    (Published Monday, July 31, 2017)

    Three people were beaten Saturday night after they got into a political argument with a man wearing a Make America Great Again hat, according to a police report.

    D.C. police officers arrested Louis Travieso, of Riverview, Florida, after he was accused of punching two men and a woman outside a restaurant in the 1200 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW, shortly after 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

    Police said Travieso attacked the trio after one of them made a comment about Travieso’s “Make America Great Again” hat.

    Investigators said all four got into a “heated political argument,” but the argument subsided, and Travieso left the restaurant with his family and then got into an Uber car.

    Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

    Travieso then got out of the car and attacked the three people, police said.

    "We were all bleeding,” the woman told NBC4, saying the man had punched her. “When the police came to the scene, it was very obvious. They immediately placed him in handcuffs. There was there no question. My nose had blood coming out of it."

    “[The two men with her] both obviously had big black eyes. My husband's ear was torn and ripped."

    The woman said she, her husband and a male friend were in the Grillfish Restaurant when she commented, aloud, on a red hat being worn by a restaurant patron who was seated at a table with a woman and two little girls.

    "Saw his hat, and I said, ‘Make America Great Again,’” the woman explained. “He might have heard that. And the only other thing that was said was ‘and he's here with three women.’”

    Outside of the restaurant, the woman said words were exchanged, and things turned violent.

    "He goes, ‘You got a problem with me?’ My friend said, ‘No, but I have a problem with your politics,'” the woman said. "He just came out, basically, just with his fists swinging, and he immediately hit my husband and got him down pretty quick, and I tried to intervene and stop him, and he punched me in the face."

    Witnesses told police that Travieso initiated the fight. The woman and one man were transported to George Washington Hospital Center for their injuries, while the other man was treated at the scene.

    Travieso told NBC4 that he acted in self-defense and that the incident was “terrifying.” He added that his lawyer was preparing a statement.

    Travieso was arrested on three counts of felony assault with significant bodily injury. The police report also listed a suspected hate crime based on anti-political motivation.

    During Travieso's initial court appearance on Monday, the charges were simple assault. He was released on personal recognizance until his next court appearance.