Veteran attacked over Trump hat

Ricardo Garcia was struck by a man offended by his ‘Make America Great Again’ hat.

Ricardo Garcia bought a “Make America Great Again” hat months ago when Donald Trump announced he was running for president. He never thought wearing it could get him into trouble and land someone else in jail.

It happened while Garcia was shopping at Sam’s Club in Brandon.

“(He said) Ah, you go for Trump, I don’t like it. I said, well you can go for Hillary and I don’t like that, but that’s the way it is,” says Garcia.

He says 37-year-old Patrick Mickens was upset about Garcia’s “Make America Great Again” hat, supporting Trump. Mickens reportedly tried to pick a fight. Garcia says he tried to just walk away.

“I grabbed my grocery cart, and I turned around and my back was to him and slowly, suddenly he was like pow! and hit me right here,” said Garcia as he pointed to a bruised eye.

A veteran, Garcia served in the Army for more than 20 years. He says he put his life in danger more than once. He says being treated this way hurts.

It’s been an ugly election season that’s created a massive divide in the country. While seeing her dad treated this way, “for a hat” upsets Dezired Garcia, she says her family is using this moment to send a message.

“Why is it you can’t speak professionally about politics? Why can’t you act like a gentleman or a lady when talking about politics? Why do you have to counter everything with violence and disrespect?”

While his attacker is charged with felony battery on a victim over 65, Ricardo hopes he learns from this experience.

Mickens has been released on bond.

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Courtesy Avery Coffman, WTSP

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