Man Arrested After Driving Van into GOP Voter Registration Tent in Jacksonville, Florida

On Saturday a man intentionally crashed a van into a tent where Trump campaign volunteers were registering voters Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville, Florida. Within hours of the incident, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested  27-year-old Gregory William Loel Timm on two counts of aggravated assault, criminal mischief, and driving without a license.

Timm was identified as the driver of the van that struck The Republican Party of Duval County's tent at around 3:50 p.m. The tent was set up in the parking lot of a Walmart Supercenter.

"I thought he was going to slow down, but he didn't and he gunned his engine and headed straight," recalls a volunteer, who said she was narrowly missed by the van.

The Duval County GOP posted images of the scene after the incident on Twitter. Reactions to the assault came from RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, and President Trump.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) still refuses to say whether the assault was politically motivated.

"We’re obviously going to follow that up and we take that very seriously," said JSO Lieutenant Larry Gayle. "Anybody who interrupts a political process in this country needs to be taken very seriously."

It's quite obvious what the motivation of the suspect was. This incident needs to be treated like a hate crime. Anti-Trump and anti-GOP hate crimes are largely ignored by the media and if hate-based crimes are to be treated differently, then it stands to reason that crimes like this, where someone could have easily been hurt or killed, should be treated with the same severity as a hate crime.

Now that a suspect has been arrested, it would be highly appropriate for Democrat leaders and presidential candidates to condemn this attack on Trump volunteers. People nationwide have been assaulted simply for supporting President Trump or being Republicans, and it's hardly a stretch to say that the rhetoric coming from the Democratic Party and the media is responsible. Yet, this incident will not get the same attention as Jussie Smollett's hate crime hoax, which was blamed on the Trump administration. Will the media acknowledge the dangerous rhetoric of the Democratic Party, and link the two? For sure they won't.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis