Two alleged Antifa activists accused of attacking a pair of Marines in Philadelphia were ordered to stand trial just after Christmas on aggravated assault and conspiracy charges following a dramatic day of testimony last week in which the Marines described being beaten and called ethnic slurs.
U.S. Marine Corps reservists Alejandro Godinez and Luis Torres, dressed in their military uniforms, testified Thursday against suspects Thomas Massey and Tom Keenan, who were allegedly part of a larger group of left-wing Antifa activists who began beating the Marines after mistaking them for participants in a November "We the People" rally in Old City.
The two Marines testified they were in Philadelphia to attend a Marine event at a local hotel and were touring attractions around the city when they were approached by Keenan, who allegedly asked the men if they were “Proud Boys” — an allusion to one of the right-wing groups behind the Nov. 17 rally, the Philly Mag reported.
Torres said he didn’t know what “Proud Boys” meant. It was after that interaction, Godinez said, that Keenan, Massey and approximately 10 other people – men and women, some masked and some unmasked – began attacking the Marines: punching and kicking them, using mace and hurling slurs and other insults.
Godinez testified he was bewildered by being called a white supremacist and reportedly yelled out “I’m Mexican.” But, he said, that didn’t deter his attackers, who then started yelling ethnic slurs as well.
“The best way I can describe it is the sound of people chanting in a soccer stadium,” he told the court, adding Keenan was “laughing, smiling, and having a good time, while I could have died that day.”
The two Marines said they were taken to Jefferson Hospital after calling 911. Godinez said he was sprayed with mace at least six times, hit in the head and kicked in the ribs. Torres did not receive treatment at the hospital, Philly Mag reported.
Keenan and Massey did not speak at the hearing. But Keenan’s attorney was mildly rebuked after referring to the incident as a tussle, leading the judge to reply, “This isn’t like kids at a playground.”
A felony charge of ethnic intimidation was added against Keenan for allegedly yelling the ethnic slurs. The two men also face a host of misdemeanor charges.
Their next court date is scheduled for Dec. 27.