A man from Florida wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was arrested over the weekend after D.C. police said he beat three people near Dupont Circle during a heated argument over President Trump’s politics.
Police said that the 32-year-old suspect “straddled” one man “and pounded” him in the face 20 times with a closed fist and left and right forearms. Two others were also struck in the face when they intervened, police said.
Police identified the suspect as Louis Samuel Travieso, of Riverview, Fla., about 20 miles south of Tampa. Police charged him with three counts of felony assault, classifying the incident as a “suspected hate crime.” Prosecutors later reduced the charges to misdemeanors but did not indicate why.
Travieso was released from jail Monday and ordered to return for a hearing on Sept. 18. His attorney did not return calls seeking comment.
Two of the men, both from Manassas, Va., could not be reached or did not respond to interview requests. The third man declined to comment Monday.
Police said the fight occurred Saturday about 6:30 p.m. in the 1200 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW, outside a restaurant where both Travieso and the men had visited. But the argument that preceded the fight began inside after one of the men commented on Travieso’s hat. Police did not describe the exchange, but said a “heated political argument” ensued, and then ended, with Travieso leaving the restaurant with his family.
The affidavit says Travieso got into an Uber vehicle but by that time the men were outside and the argument resumed. Police said Travieso got out of the Uber at a red traffic light and attacked the three men. A police report says numerous bystanders reported Travieso as the aggressor.
Two of the men were treated at a hospital; the other was treated by paramedics at the scene.