A video posted by a conservative student group during a recent anti-Obamacare protest shows a man losing his cool and attacking protesters during what they say was a peaceful gathering to oppose the president's healthcare mandate.
The group, Tradition Family and Property (TFP), was protesting in North Little Rock, AR, on July 17, the group's website says. Sometime during the protest -- with cameras rolling -- a man approached the group and eventually attacked.
"First he said, 'Praise be Mary,' giving the impression he was friendly,'" the website says. "Next he shouted, 'Get the hell out of here!' and rushed our American flag bearer Elias Bartel, knocking him off his feet with a violent blow. Old Glory fell over, but not completely because the 19-foot flag pole caught a power line on the way down and was quickly recovered and set upright again."
The attacker did not stop there. Without pause, he immediately assaulted our second volunteer, Jesus Guerra, who was holding the TFP banner which displays a rampant lion and the motto: “Tradition, Family, and Property.” As the video clearly shows, our young volunteer was pushed with such violence that he fell backward onto a fire hydrant. The banner also fell.
You can watch the video below:
It's unclear what, if anything, may have prompted the outburst. Was the group in a verbal argument with the man before the events on the video? Was the attacker provoked? Did the police get involved?
We reached out to the organization to ask a few questions but have not heard back. We'll update the story with any additional details if they become available.
In an email to TheBlaze, group member John Ritche said the protesters did not provoke the man.
"The attacker walked up totally out of the blue, shoved our American flag bearer down, then hit Jesus Guerra who was holding our group's banner," he said. "There was no verbal discussion before the video started rolling. Our volunteers were always respectful and did nothing to provoke him or anyone else in any way, nor had we seen him before. He attacked us from the rear."
According to Ritchie, the group did contact the police and the police did respond.
"The police arrived shortly after, filed a report about the attack, and collected information," he explained. "We managed to get a photo of the license place number of the vehicle the attacker used. The video footage was also helpful to the law enforcement officers who said they would locate the man and talk to him."
At this time, however, Ritchie said the group has yet to hear back from the authorities.
We've reached out to the local police department for more information on the investigation into the incident. Additionally, TFP has provided us with the police report number and the badge number of the responding officer.