A man wearing a Trump shirt and seen breathing on anti-Trump protesters in a video that went viral over the weekend has been charged with misdemeanor assault by Virginia police.
Loudon County police charged Raymond Deskins, 61, of Sterling, Virginia, with misdemeanor simple assault after he allegedly blew on two women who were protesting outside the Trump National Golf Club on Sunday, WRC-TV reports. One of the women, Kathy Beynette, told WRC-TV that Trump supporters were counterprotesting across the street from where they were.
"Then, quite out of nowhere, the guy came over from across the street, came charging across the street," Beynette said.
She began filming as the man, wearing a Trump T-shirt and an inflatable Trump innertube around his waist, confronted her and her fellow anti-Trump protester.
Please help. He crossed street to assault 2 senior citizens. Want to identify n case contact tracing becomes necess… https://t.co/aovNccVEeF— ActivistKathy (@ActivistKathy) 1605991881.0
In the video, one of the women tells the man, "You're in my face and you don't have a mask, so you need to back off."
One of the women yells, "Get away from me! Get away from me!"
The other says, "You don't get up in somebody's face," and the man responds, "I'm not in anybody's face."
Then she replies, "You are in my face — and you don't have a mask, so you need to back up."
Then the man takes a deep breath and begins blowing on them.
"He just proceeded to assault us by taking a deep breath and doing a very powerful exhalation on both of us," Beynette said.
The Loudon County Sheriff's office released a statement on Sunday announcing charges against Deskins.
"Two separate parties reported they were assaulted during a verbal argument outside of Trump National Golf Club," police said. "As the incident was not witnessed by law enforcement and the video did not capture the entire interaction, an investigation was conducted on scene and both parties were advised they could go to a Loudoun County Magistrate and seek a citizen obtained warrant."
"This afternoon our deputies served a warrant obtained by a citizen through a Loudoun County Magistrate. Raymond Deskins, age 61, of Sterling, VA, was charged with simple assault (misdemeanor) and released on a summons."
Update on video circulating on social media after an incident near Trump National Golf Club. https://t.co/NFnbmOnYRi— Loudoun Co. Sheriff (@Loudoun Co. Sheriff) 1606082035.0
Beynette told WRC-TV she's worried that about contracting COVID-19 from the incident, saying that she's had to cancel her Thanksgiving plans because she might have been exposed to the virus.
"We're both senior citizens both close to 70 years old, which puts us in a high-risk category," she said. "Because of this guy, my family has had to cancel the small Thanksgiving that we had planned with just a few people because I said I might've been exposed."