Last year, Daniel Zaroes Brito, former Legislative Assistant to U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), attacked a man who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and waving a sign that read, “Vote Jobs, Not Mobs–Vote Republican.” The victim, Tucson resident Jonathan Sparks, suffered serious injuries in the assault.
Brito has now been sentenced to 12 days in the Pima County jail and three years probation.
“The assailant had jumped on to my ankle from behind,” Sparks explained last November. “So I, knowing my ankle was broken into four pieces, turned around to grab and take the hat back and my hands latched on to the hat.”
They both fell to the ground in the altercation. Through it all, Sparks recalled hearing the words, “Hitler” and “Nazi” and “Trump.” Brito then came over on top of him and “over and over again” he hit him.
Sparks spent 20 hours in the hospital and had to undergo surgery.
He mused that if the situation had been different – for instance, if he had been a black man or if he had been waving “a rainbow flag,” there would be “a sea of reporters” on the scene.
“The attack on Jonathan Sparks, a Tucson resident who was exercising his free speech rights, is part of a pattern developing on the Left where people are carrying out random acts of violence against innocent individuals simply because of their political beliefs,” said Republican Party of Arizona Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward in a statement on Tuesday. “I fear that unless he tones down his divisive rhetoric, Rep. Grijalva’s unhinged hatred for President Trump could embolden similar future acts of violence against some of his constituents who support the president.”