Michelle Marchante, Bianca Padró Ocasio
A canvasser wearing a Marco Rubio T-shirt and a Gov. Ron DeSantis hat was “brutally attacked” in Hialeah Sunday night, according to U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.
The senator alleged on social media that four attackers — whom he described as “animals” — told the canvasser that “Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood.”
Details remain scarce, but Hialeah Mayor Esteban “Steve” Bovo said in an interview that the city’s police chief told him Monday that the department had made an arrest in the incident. Bovo said he was uncomfortable commenting beyond that, given the lack of information about the incident and the sensitivity of the issue.
Hialeah police did not immediately respond to requests for comment by email and phone.
During a Monday rally at the John F. Kennedy Library in Hialeah to mark the start of early voting in South Florida, Rubio told a crowd about the alleged incident, but stressed that not all the details were known.
“Sadly, we get the news and we’re still waiting for details. It’s always important to have details. We’re not like these other people that always jump to conclusions, but we know this: Someone wearing a Rubio T-Shirt and a DeSantis hat was walking in a neighborhood not far from here yesterday when four individuals assaulted him, broke his nose, broke his jaw,” and gave him internal bleeding, Rubio said.
Last night one of our canvassers wearing my T-shirt and a Desantis hat was brutally attacked by 4 animals who told him Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood in #Hialeah #Florida— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 24, 2022
He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw & will need facial reconstructive surgery pic.twitter.com/36QpbySg58
He said the canvasser will need facial reconstructive surgery.
Photos posted to the senator’s Twitter and Instagram accounts on Monday show a man wearing a Rubio campaign shirt lying on a gurney. One of his eyes looks bruised and there are streaks of what appears to be blood on his face. His shirt also seems to have specks of what might be blood.
Spokespeople for the Rubio campaign said they didn’t have additional details to share about the incident and were not aware of any eye witnesses who could confirm the events.
“I can tell you this: political violence should not be tolerated by anyone. Our side or their side, we don’t tolerate political violence. In this country, we decide who governs not by street mobs, we decide who governs at the ballot box,” Rubio added.
This article will be updated. Miami Herald staff writer Charles Rabin contributed to this report.