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19-year-old arrested for allegedly assaulting an 81-year-old man for wearing MAGA hat

The suspect 'took the victim by the arm and threw him to the ground'

David Cliff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A 19-year-old New Jersey man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting an 81-year-old man wearing a "Make American Great Again" hat, according to officials.

Ryan M. Salvagno has been accused of beating up the elderly man over his pro-Trump hat on Monday outside a supermarket in Franklin Township in Somerset County.

Police arrested Salvagno on Wednesday following an investigation into the incident.

What are the details?

The 81-year-old man, whose name has not been released, had finished his grocery shopping at the ShopRite in Franklin Township at the time of the attack, the Somerset County Prosecutor's said in a news release Wednesday.

Shortly before 3:30 p.m., the man was leaving the store when Salvagno allegedly started an argument with him over his red MAGA hat.

Following a "brief verbal confrontation," the victim tried to walk away from the situation, according to authorities.

"As the victim turned to walk away, defendant Salvagno was able to grab the victim's hat and the two struggled for sole possession of the hat, the release said. "Salvagno then took the victim by the arm and threw him to the ground, tipping over the victim's cart of groceries and ultimately throwing the hat to the side.

The victim, who suffered minor injuries, refused medical treatment at the scene.

What are the charges against Salvagno?

Salvagno has been charged with assault and harassment. His arraignment is scheduled for March 14.

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