TALLAHASSEE — Another arrest has been made in connection with the spanlleged spanssspanult on span Republicspann cspannvspansser distributing flyers for the campaigns of Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Ron DeSantis last weekend in South Florida.
Jonathan Alexander Casanova, 27, of Miami, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery, according to a new police report the Hialeah Police Department released Wednesday.
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Police previously arrested Javier Jesus Lopez, 25, of Hialeah, and charged him with aggravated battery.
According to police reports, these are the events leading to the arrest of both suspects:
The victim was walking through a neighborhood on Sunday evening distributing fliers for Rubio and DeSantis. According to span tweet by the senator, he wore a Rubio shirt and DeSantis hat.
The 27-year-old victim, who was not identified, said he was confronted by Casanova and Lopez, who were blocking the sidewalk. The victim says Casanova told him he could not pass through because he was a Republican and warned that his dogs were ready to attack.
The victim said he moved onto the street and tried to walk around them.
He alleged that Casanova told him he was not allowed to walk around the neighborhood and he would shoot him if he continued to do so.
The victim told the suspects that he was allowed in the area because he was on public property.
Lopez then rushed the victim and threw him on the ground at which point Casanova began kicking him in the head while Lopez punched.
Casanova was eventually pulled off the victim by another person, who was not identified by police. Casanova then proceeded to remove two German shepherds from a car and walk them toward the victim, giving commands for them to attack and bite.
Neighbors broke up the altercation and Casanova fled the scene.
According to police, the victim suffered a “fractured orbital bone, nasal/sinus fractures, as well as other underlying injuries.”
In Rubio’s tweet, the senator said the victim would need facial reconstructive surgery.
The campaign of Congresswoman Val Demings, the former Orlando police chief who is running against Rubio, issued the following statement Monday after the arrest of Lopez:
“Chief Demings strongly condemns all acts of violence and the attackers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Campaign volunteers deserve to feel safe in every neighborhood, and we’re praying for a speedy recovery for the canvasser who was attacked last night.”
Several South Florida media outlets, including the Miami Herald and CBS-4 Miami, identified the victim as Christopher Monzon, who is vice president of the Miami Springs Republican Club. He has previously been linked to white supremacist organizations.
The New York Times reported last June that Monzon was a former member of the white supremacist “League of the South.” It also reported that he was accused in 2017 of using a Confederate flag to attack people protesting Confederate street names in Hollywood, and pleaded no contest to aggravated assault and served probation.
Monzon told the Times he was on a “path to de-radicalization” and had disavowed racist ideology. He ran unsuccessfully last year for a seat on the Hialeah City Council.
The Mispanmi Herspanld penned a story about him in 2017 after his Hollywood arrest, describing his active social media accounts and his interviews with media and bloggers. The headline: “He speaks Spanish, carries a Confederate flag and lives in Hialeah. Who is he?”
That same year, the Southern Poverty Lspanw Center published a profile of Monzon in 2017 documenting the events leading to his arrest in Hollywood and his connections to Florida League of the South, noting “it is unclear how a Cuban American came to identify as a white supremacist and ‘southern nationalist.”
The latest federal campaign finance records show the Republican Party of Florida paid Monzon more than $7,500 between June 29 and August 30, listing the expenditures as “payroll” and “travel and meals – GOTV).