A man who was seen in a viral video confronting a teenager and stealing his hat that bears President Trump’s campaign slogan is now facing a felony theft charge.
Kino Jimenez, 30, was arrested Thursday, a day after he reportedly started an argument with the teen, whom police did not identify but has been named in interviews as 16-year-old Hunter Richard.
Richard was dining with friends Wednesday at a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio when Jimenez walked up to the group’s table and took off the teen’s hat, according to the San Antonio Police Department. The video, which begins midway into the argument, shows a man believed to be Jimenez holding a red “Make America Great Again” hat and tossing a large cup of soda in the teen’s face.
Jimenez then walked away, hollering an expletive and a racist word. As he headed toward the door, he said the hat will “go great” in his fireplace.
The incident happened at 2 a.m. Wednesday. Hours later, Richard and a guardian reported it to authorities, police said.
Police found Jimenez in Universal City, Tex., just outside San Antonio, and arrested him Thursday evening. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.
Efforts to reach the teen have been unsuccessful, but in an interview with NBC affiliate WOAI, Richard said he supports President Trump.
“And if you don’t, let’s have a conversation about it instead of ripping my hat off,” he said. “I just think a conversation about politics is more productive for the entire whole rather than taking my hat and yelling subjective words to me.”
Whataburger, a San Antonio-based fast food chain, said in a statement that none of its employees were involved in the incident.
“We were shocked to see this video and certainly don’t condone this type of customer behavior in our restaurants,” the company said.
Jimenez has since been fired from his job as a part-time employee at Rumble, a local bar, the San Antonio Express-News reported. The Washington Post was unable to reach Rumble on Friday.
The video was first posted on Facebook, but it has since been removed or changed to a private setting. Versions of it are still circulating online.
The incident fueled criticism among conservatives and right-wing media. Gateway Pundit, for example, published a story Thursday calling Jimenez a “violent leftist” and a “scumbag progressive.”
Donald Trump Jr. called the incident “disgusting and a disgrace” and said in a tweet Thursday that “no one should feel unsafe” for supporting the president. Trump Jr. offered to give Richard a new Make America Great Again hat, signed by the president, if someone could give him the teen’s contact information.
Brad Parscale, the president’s campaign manager, also went on Twitter, saying that he, too, would love to give the teen a signed hat.