Three recent prosecutions suggest that President Trump’s supporters who have endured abuse and violence for wearing “Make America Great Again” hats will receive justice.
Police arrested Ryan M. Salvagno, 19, of Somerset, N.J., on February 27. Two days earlier, authorities say, he hounded an unidentified 81-year-old man who wore a MAGA hat. Salvagno allegedly confronted the senior outside a Shop Rite in Franklin Township. Prosecutors say that Salvagno argued with the man about the hat, grabbed it, shoved the octogenarianto the ground (causing minor injuries), and toppled his grocery cart. Salvagno faces assault and harassment charges.
On February 25, Kenneth Dewayne Jones, 18, knocked a MAGA hat off of a 17-year-old classmate at Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla. “Are you proud of what you are wearing?” Jones asked his male victim. Jones forcibly removed the teen’s hat and yanked away his pro-Trump banner. Jones was cited for municipal assault and battery, requiring a $560 fine.
Zachary Greenberg, 28, was arrested for sucker-punching Hayden Williams, 26, at U.C. Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza, the birthplace of the 1960s Free Speech Movement. Williams, a Leadership Institute employee, volunteered to help Turning Point USA register conservative students. On February 19, Williams manned a recruitment table bearing two signs: “Hate Crime Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims” and “This is MAGA Country.”
Cellphone videos show Greenberg, a software engineer, knocking over the table and signs. Greenberg hits Williams once, screams obscenities at him, and then cold-cocks him in the face. His swollen, black eye darkened subsequent TV interviews. Six days after Williams’s beating, he told Fox Business Network anchor Stuart Varney, “I still have ringing in my ears and other symptoms of a concussion.”
University cops arrested Greenberg on March 1. He is accused of felonious assault, bodily injury, and criminal threats, plus misdemeanor vandalism.