"Tony," a Michigan union worker whose temper is quicker than his hands, has a serious online image problem.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 876 member was captured on video Tuesday punching Fox News contributor Steven Crowder during a pro-union protest on Tuesday in Michigan’s capital on the day the state Legislature approved "right to work" legislation that unions oppose. But posters who flooded the local's Facebook page with comments weren't exactly hailing the hardhat for striking a blow for solidarity. Instead, they heaped scorn on the man for portraying his cause badly — and while wearing a jacket with his first name embroidered on the breast.
“No class at all,” one post read. “Their families should be embarrassed by the behavior of these animals.”
Another post characterized “violence and intimidation” as the hallmark of unions, while others addressed Tony directly.
“Your actions are disgusting and cowardly! You attacked an innocent man who was only there asking questions,” the posting read. “So happy Michigan can now be free from you bullies!”
Crowder, 25, suffered a chipped front tooth and a minor facial cut in the recorded assault, but has yet to file a police report in connection to the incident.
“He was saying he was going to kick my a-- and that him and his buddies wanted to meet me at the bar later,” Crowder told FoxNews.com. “He was repeatedly threatening me.”
But the conservative comedian has issued a public challenge to his assailant, and is threatening to press charges if Tony turns him down.
“He can come forward and confess and we’ll press charges, or we can host a legal, sanctioned mixed martial arts bout with the proceeds going to the union of his choice,” Crowder said. “That’s his way of avoiding going to jail right now.”
Shanon Banner, a spokeswoman for Michigan State Police, confirmed to FoxNews.com that no police report has been filed in connection to the assault.
“We can’t take action without [Crowder] coming forward,” Banner said. “If he did that, we would be sure to conduct a thorough investigation.”
Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation late Tuesday after the state House gave final approval of the bills, which bar unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers they represent under collective bargaining agreements. State police reported three arrests at the Capitol, but said crowds were largely peaceful.
“Throughout the day union marshals and captains worked very well with troopers and the House and Senate Sergeant at Arms to help maintain safety and order of people both inside the Capitol and outside,” according to a Michigan State Police news release. “ … Troopers responded to a few minor calls for medical assistance and altercations between protesters. No major injuries or medical emergencies were reported to the MSP.”
Tony, whose full identity is being reported online but could not be confirmed, could not be reached for comment. But Scott Clark, business manager of IBEW Local 665, told FoxNews.com he witnessed Crowder being “antagonistic” to the crowd earlier in the day, prior to him being punched.
"He was antagonizing the crowd for the 15 minutes I was standing over there,” Clark said. "I was unaware of the incident until I watched the video, but I can tell you I talked to a number of my members, and non-union supporters, because this isn't just a union issue, it's a worker issue. This was meant to be a peaceful protest."
John Cour, the membership development representative for IBEW Local 876, declined comment.
“Look at the unedited version [of the videotape] and you’ll see what happened,” Cour told FoxNews.com.
Crowder, for his part, did not dispute that he was antagonizing the union workers and their supporters.
“I’m not saying that’s unfounded,” he said. “But I never assaulted anyone … I expected them to be hostile and violent, just as the [Wall Street] occupiers were. They don’t believe in dialogue or discourse. But I did not expect a mob to destroy a tent with a complete lack of empathy.”
Crowder, who heads to Texas on Thursday, said he will try to work the incident into his comedic routine.
“I don’t know, I’m sure there’s something funny about it,” he said. “I’ll see if I can get some material in there.”
Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said he wasn’t surprised at the charged atmosphere in Lansing.
“On the side of proponents of right to work, they simply believe workers should have the freedom to choose,” Vernuccio told FoxNews.com. “And when you talk about freedom in this country, emotions do get very high.”
State Democratic Rep. Douglas Geiss, who warned of “blood” and “repercussions” ahead of the vote, did not immediately return a call requesting comment.
FoxNews.com's Natalia Angulo contributed to this report.