Editor’s note: this story has been updated with an interview with the person who was punched.
TheBlaze reported earlier that alleged union activists had attacked a tent owned by the pro-right-to-work group Americans for Prosperity.
Now we have more footage of not only the attack on the tent, but also of alleged union activists physically attacking conservative writer and comedian Steven Crowder:
“They were tearing down the tent,” Crowder explained when TheBlaze asked him about the moments leading up to the violent exchange. “Now that sort of becomes a melee. They were trying to tear down the [AFP] tent and people were trying to pull them off … there were people in there. It’s their property.”
“And as they [the union activists] did that, a few people tripped,” he continued, “this guy tripped over a tent peg and then got up and hit me.”
This is the gentleman Crowder is referring to:
Following the altercation and the destruction of AFP’s tent, Crowder tweeted the following images:
“I never hit him at all. I know he tripped,” Crowder told TheBlaze in a phone interview. “And I know he was coming into me, so hands were everywhere.”
Crowder was actually at the protest to do some “man-on-the-street” interviews with union supporters.
“I went in there to ask them why they were against right-to-work and it immediately got violent. They immediately started tearing down the tent and they trampled it to the ground with women inside,” he said.
Speaking of which, here’s some footage taken by an AFP worker from inside the tent as it was being ripped apart:
“The union members went inside the tent to cut the ropes and knock down the poles that we’re holding the tent up,” Michael Moroney, Director of Communications at the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, told TheBlaze in an email.
Ironically enough, according to Moroney, AFP was actually hosting pro-right-to-work union workers when the tent was brought down by protesters.
“Am I a bit of a smart aleck? Yeah,” said Crowder, “But does that warrant me being punched in the face and told they’ll ‘kill me with a gun’? I don’t think so.”
And you can clearly hear people shouting about guns in the video. TheBlaze asked Crowder, who is a staunch supporter of the 2nd amendment, whether he discussed with anyone in the crowd his support for the right to bear arms.
“No. I was not carrying a gun and never even broached the subject. They were not talking about me,” he responded.
Did the police at least try to break up the crowd?
“There was not one cop to be found,” Crowder told TheBlaze.
It’s important to note that the above video has been edited and that the moments leading up to the attacks on Mr. Crowder have been removed.
“I wanted to show the good stuff,” he said, adding that he wanted the keep the video to under two minutes. “Listen, if you want more context, there are dozens of videos taken by people with their cellphones. They’re about 45 minutes long. You can watch those.”
Now that these alleged union activists have been caught on camera, we’re left with one big question: Will Crowder press assault charges?
“I’m going to give this guy an ultimatum,” Crowder said, “he can either fess up and go to prison for a felony or we can meet at a racquetball court for five minutes and we can work out our differences ourselves. Jail or one-on-one. If he wants to play tough guy, I’m giving him the choice.”
In case you didn’t know, Crowder is schooled in both mixed martial arts and wrestling.
“Just to be clear,” TheBlaze said, “what do you mean by ‘one-on-one’?”
“I’m talking about lock us in a racquetball court for a whole sanctioned mixed martial arts bout, or boxing bout, or wrestling bout – whatever he wants,” said Crowder. “He can name the terms and I will face him one-on-one if he wants to avoid prison.”
“I am serious,” he added. “He can go to jail, or compete with me in a sanctioned bout for charity.”
UPDATE — Crowder appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” Tuesday night to discuss his ordeal and to formally challenge the union activist who assaulted him [via Mediaite]:
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Featured image YouTube. This story has been updated.