HIALEAH, FLORIDA — Today, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio posted photos of a man who was attacked while canvassing a neighborhood in support of Rubio and Governor Ron DeSantis. Rubio didn’t identify the man but said the attack happened Sunday night and the canvasser would require “facial reconstructive surgery.”
A spokesperson for the Hialeah Police Department told The Florida Standard that there’s an open investigation into the matter. Several on social media expressed concern after the post, including U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who wrote “this is horrible.”
“No matter one’s political party, no one should ever face violence. This sets a scary tone for anyone who is canvassing, too. I hope he recovers quickly, and I wish safety to everyone,” State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D) replied on Twitter.
According to the Hialeah police report, the incident took place on East 60th Street. The victim was handing out flyers when Javier Lopez, 22, blocked the sidewalk and said “you can’t pass by here, this is my neighborhood.”
After a verbal dispute, Lopez rushed toward the victim and slammed him to the ground. The assault continued as Lopez kicked the victim and then repeatedly struck him in the face and mouth, the police report explained.
An online newsgroup called the Patriot’s Perspective said the victim was former City Council candidate Christopher Monzon, who previously told Patriot’s Perspective that during his 2020 campaign, he was being followed by the “FBI, Antifa & other gangs.”
Rubio’s campaign did not respond immediately to a request for comment. But on Monday morning, Rubio held a rally to encourage early voting in Hialeah. “He spoke to voters about his race against Val Demings and why it is so critical to elect Republicans up and down the ballot this year,” his campaign spokesperson wrote in a press release.